(Yeah, I know thta's Jan, but I always hear her voice in my head when I hear, Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her. )
I was told by one of the shining lights of the middle school cantor/lector team that her family had not attended Mass the preceding weekend because none of them "had anything to do."
Our deacon nominated some high schoolers to become extraordinary ministers as a way of "getting them to come to Mass."
Dr Mahrt speaks about trying to find what he is expected to sing, between juggling a hymnal and a worship aid and a pew-missal, and suddenly realizing -- he'd missed seeing the procession.
Catholic attendance at Sunday worship in this country has sunk almost to euro-levels.
Are these things connected?
I believe so.
I believe the great mass of pew-sitters had chosen the better part, and were misguidedly urged into being busy about many things.
The better part was taken away.
I should also add, that whenever I hear or read that passage that Martha, being a little like someone I know, thenceforth decided to game the Lord, and smiled, and said oh, okay, I get it, and plopped herself down at His feet.
And after a few hours, everyone decided they were kinda hungry, and lo, there was no bread made, and the fire had gone out under the pot, and the kitchen was a mess.
Oh well, said Martha, continuing to smile.
(So yes, as a professional martha, I have a certain ambivalence about this bible passage. When I was a kid I HATED it, it seemed so unfair.)
Hey, and the old testament reading this morning -- was it or was it not all about the liturgical calender? and wouldn't it have been a wonderful opportunity for a reflection on whether or not how we worship matters, and whether or not "God doesn't care how we do this."