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Photo meditation on Martha & Mary

Serving vs. Sitting

By Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.


Martha, Martha, worrying about

So many things: cleaning, cooking, serving

Seeing to every detail of hospitality

So Jesus and his friends might enjoy

A good meal and a glass or two

Of vintage wine saved for just

Such an occasion as this.


But what is your sister doing

Or rather, not doing, as she sits

In there with the men?

Has she forgotten her place

And left you to fend for yourself?

The nerve!


Lord, do you not care that I’m left alone

To tend to you and your gang while Mary

Sits at your feet like a disciple?

Remind her who she is, of who I am,

Of who you are and

Tell her to help.


Sure, Mary chose the better part

To sit, listen and learn from the Lord

Who teaches by word and example

Of our duty to serve others as he did.

And so while Mary sits and listens

It was Martha all along


Who learned the harder lesson

Of faithfully serving

Willingly, happily and without

Resentment or complaint

All who are in need.