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Are you a Mary or a Martha?

Giving money. Volunteering. Organizing. Working at a nonprofit. There are so many ways we engage with the social sector to make change, make an impact. Like any strength, we likely tend to spend the most time in areas we are the most comfortable in.

This week’s Gospel (Luke 10:38-42) was the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus visits Martha’s house. Her sister, Mary, sits and listens to Jesus while Martha does all of the work of entertaining (you know how it feels when you have a party -- you don't feel like you ever really get to talk to your guests). Martha is completely annoyed that her sister is not helping. But Jesus says Mary is doing the right thing. Pope Francis tells us this Gospel reminds us to combine contemplation and action.

I often find myself spending a lot of time on the contemplation and less on the action. For instance, I often worry about changes in my neighborhood: scraped houses, new neighbors who don’t take the time to get to know the history or people of the community, the loss of the sense of place. But how much time do I spend getting to know my neighbors, new and old? Do I attend meetings? Roll up my sleeves? It’s easy for me to claim that I’m just not a joiner or an extrovert...I worry instead of "do."

Perhaps I need to measure my contemplation with action. How can my actions better match my concerns on this issue? Maybe you are more like Martha on some issues -- always go, go, go and do, do, do, not taking time for reflecting and listening.

What step can you take that's outside of your typical way of operating to address an issue you care about?

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