The Healing of Martha

How many weary women toiling at their tasks have said with a sigh of self-pity, "Well, I suppose I must be a Martha!" And their self-depreciation is increased when they glance at an apparently idle sister whom they consider as the type of a "Mary." Many have taken sides with Martha, feeling that the well-known rebuke was not wholly justified, and, further, that Mary's attitude was not one that could be practically followed in the work of every day.

Let us reexamine the story in the light of Christian Science. Jesus was a welcome guest at this home, and on this occasion was received by the hospitable Martha, and a meal was served him. In her anxiety to do honor to her gracious guest, Martha became "cumbered about much serving," while Mary "sat at Jesus" feet, and heard his word." Martha's anxiety about material things opened the way for self-pity and jealousy to enter her thought and ended in an outburst of petulance toward both Jesus and Mary. Then came Jesus' gentle rebuke, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

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