Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”

For a regular Jewish woman, Martha was doing exactly what ought to be done for any visitor. Cooking and ensuring that they felt at home. But what do we find Mary doing? She was sat at the feet of Jesus listening- not great hospitality we would say, according to the preset standards of measure. Was Mary being Lazy? Did she not care? Where was her hospitality?

I heard in the homily at Mass today that ‘listening is spiritual hospitality’. That made perfect sense seeing how Jesus made no attempt to rebuke Mary for her choice. Listening qualifies as hospitality because it allows others the opportunity to bear their innermost self to another, and affords the listener a platform to respond whether through the act of listening or with another set of actions.

Martha was also doing all she was required to do and as she was exhausted, she went to Jesus to complain. Unlike her, let us not allow our hospitality degrade into moans and complaints, because at that point, it loses its very essence.

Thus in summary, true listening is hospitality and complaining does not enhance hospitality, it only stifles it.


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