Martha, perhaps feeling a bit neglected while busying herself with all the work, asked Jesus, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me" (Luke 10:40). Jesus, recognizing that Martha's accusation and emotions come from a heart filled with chaos, said to Martha, "Martha, Martha, are you worried and distracted by many things …" (Luke 10:41). Jesus' words succinctly pierce the chaotic heart of Martha and reveal what's behind that chaos: she is "worried and distracted by many things". However, living in this world, is it possible to be free of distractions? Jesus continues, "there is need of only one thing" (Luke 10:42). We may ask, "Who doesn't need to labour? How could one abandon everything and only devote one's attention to 'the better part' as Jesus wants of us " (Luke 10:42)?

In truth, Jesus is not demanding us to abandon all the work in our daily life, and only wants us to be like Mary, sitting by His feet, listening with an attentive heart. The problem lies in the "many things".

One of the reasons behind such chaos is that we often occupy ourselves with too many "things" which result in distractions, preventing us from recognizing the presence of our Lord Jesus. Or, perhaps, we may use our busy-ness as an excuse to avoid conversing with Christ, building a relationship, and becoming His confidante. In doing so, we have forfeited the opportunity to be empowered by Christ, and are left to battle life's challenges by our own power. That's what worried Jesus.

Therefore, we need to pay attention to whether we are preoccupied with our "many things". What are these "many things" for us?

Chaos sets in when we are troubled by "things", thus our emotions become easily disturbed, leading to huge ups and downs in our hearts and minds. If we allow ourselves to be troubled by "things" like a boat in the sea, the more troubled we are, the bigger the waves. When we anchor ourselves to Christ, we will be like a boat securely anchored.

Contrarily, when we allow ourselves to be distracted by many unnecessary things, our heart will sway; aimlessly going off-course and following the currents.


What are the "many things" that concern you?

Do you feel troubled by the "many things"? Do they cause huge emotional ups and downs, and even affect your relationships with others?

During this Lent, what are the unnecessary things or "many things"  that the Lord is inviting you to lay down?


Loving Lord Jesus Christ, I finally understand the things that cause chaos in my heart and separate me from the peace that you have given me. I recognize your words for Martha are also for me; your concern for Martha's busy-ness is for our busy-ness. Thank you for your unconditional love. I now know that I cannot earn your love by my own labour and power. Teach me to know your will so that I may be able to lay down the "many things", finding peace and reliance in you. For this I pray, in Jesus' Holy Name.  Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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