Martha and Mary

Are you familiar with the movie Yentl?  The movie is about a single father who teaches the Talmud, which is Jewish law and tradition, to the boys in his small Polish town, in 1904.  Behind closed doors, he also instructs his daughter, Yentl, despite the fact that girls are forbidden to study religious scripture.  When Yentl's father dies, she still has a strong desire to learn about her faith, so she disguises herself as a male, enrolls in a religious school, and of course, in Hollywood, she finds love along the way.

Ephesians 5:2
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This wasn’t much different from what most Christian women experienced for years.  As the late Martha Clay, a Godly friend of mine told my wife, and I paraphrase, “For years the only position of leadership women could hold in churches was to be a member of the Altar Guild.”  Although women have come a long way, some women to this day may not be allowed to have leadership positions in some churches. This makes today’s Gospel much more impactful.

In Luke:38-42, we learn that Martha invites Jesus to her home, when he and his disciples went into her village.  Martha, as the hostess, starts working on the tasks involved in welcoming guests into her home.  I can just imagine her cooking the best family recipes, pulling out her best dishes, and perhaps picking some fresh flowers from her garden to set up the table.  After all, she knew this wasn’t just ANY guest.

Luke 6:45
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On the other hand, instead of helping with the tasks, her sister Mary decides to sit by Jesus’ feet and listen to him teach.  Regardless, she was basically taking the role of a disciple, which was very unusual for a woman in first century Judaism to be accepted by a teacher as a disciple.  This clearly demonstrates how Jesus transcended the prejudices of his day.

Martha soon realizes that she’s lost her faithful assistant, and apparently gets a little miffed.  She politely says, ”Ah, Lord? Do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?”  She wanted Mary to help, and it was truly a reasonable request.  After all, Mary, as part of the household, was also one of the hostesses.  Unfortunately, Martha did not get the answer she wanted.  Jesus cordially responds, Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

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Jesus was not judging her or hating on her, like kids say these days.  He was basically telling her the truth.  That is that learning about the Word of the Lord is just as important as serving the Lord.  As disciples of Christ, a focus on learning, obedience, and service are always a priority.  It’s also what He was exemplifying in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which precedes today’s Gospel reading.  In the parable, both a priest and a Levite ignore a half dead man, because they apparently were much too busy to bother helping him.  On the other hand, a Samaritan, whom Jews considered evil, took the time to demonstrate the love of neighbors that Jesus commands of us to show.

For this reason, I commend the members of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, in Uvalde, Texas, for their diligent work with the Border Patrol and Migrant Ministry.  As a parish, they took a controversial issue to follow Jesus’s directive to love thy neighbor and care for those in need.  They are supporting the overworked Border Patrol agents by providing them with meals, as they work under dangerous circumstances to keep our borders safe.  They also provide backpacks with hygiene items, snacks and water to the migrants.  Just like Martha and Mary, they are putting aside their daily tasks to actively live what they've learned about the Word of God.  They are also answering to the directives by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Bishops of the Diocese of West Texas, which is to “Walk in love, as Christ loved us.”  It has not been an easy task, for they had to raise funds and spend arduous hours to do HIS work.  In addition, some of them got backlash from some people.

In closing, although Mary appears to lack the hospitality skills that Martha had, she did not miss the utmost opportunity to listen to and learn from Jesus himself.  And just like in the movie Yentl, we must sometimes break worldly expectations to respond to our Lord’s calling.  Therefore, I challenge you to continue to follow His lead, and face the cost of discipleship.  He’s not asking us to give up the joys of life, for the bible gives us examples of joyful occasions, such as the time He spent with Lazarus’ family.  However, following Jesus means that everything becomes secondary to serving the Kingdom of God, sharing the gospel, and being living examples of the love of Christ.


GREAT artwork along with a wise and true text. An amazing posting. I am a big fan of Yentl, this film was amazing, I should watch it again these days. Thank you for supporting then challenges wirh your fabulous art. Specially love the feet art.Gorgeous!
May the Lord bless all around to bring us LOVE and PEACE!
Susi xxx
Sue said…
Hi Arnoldo, Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment.

You didn't put your number, but I managed to find you.

Happy WOYWW.
Sue #5
sirkkis said…
I haven't see the Yentl, thank you for telling and other interesting words. Thanks for gorgeous art. Your foot painting is amazing.
Happy upcoming week 🌸
NatureFootstep said…
My alias are Footstep, so, of course I love footprints :)
carol l mckenna said…
Lovely artworks with wonderful devotion ~

Thanks for stopping by and commenting ~ ^_^

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Gillena Cox said…
Lovely art work Arnoldo. I saw the movie Yentl many years ago and loved it. I can still remember Barbara Striesand's voice singing "pappa can you hear me" one of my favourite songs in the movie. Oh and about
Women and discipleship i read this year. Junia the lost apostle by Rena Pedereson, picked it up in the library. Wow that was an amazing read.
Thanks for dropping by my blog this week

It is indeed a great film, I remember seeing it as a child. How the world has now changed giving woman much more of a chance in life to progress, achieve and think for themselves. Especially loved the feet print along with the words, a great path to follow. Creative blessings Tracey.
DVArtist said…
Hi Arnoldo, a lovely story indeed. I so appreciate you sharing and the uplifting to women. Of course your art is always a blessing.
What a lovely card! It was pinned to the Stamp Simply Clear Stamps "YOUR projects we love" board!
Amy said…
Hello, wonderful art & so much thought put into it. No I had not seen that movie or heard of it. Thank you for sharing
Hello Arnoldo, your design style is so very creative and I admire it.
I haven't seen that film but I enjoyed reading through your post and also to read of the care given to fellow humans no matter what side of a border
Rosie said…
A wonderful post

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE
Shoshi said…
I love how you combine your beautiful teaching messages with your stunning art work, Arnoldo. This was a really lovely post. My hubby and I love the film "Yentl." Barbra Streisand's exceptional voice features throughout, as well! Another film on the same theme of defying cultural and religious stereotypes is "Fiddler on the Roof."

Thank you for your visit and I'm sorry to be so long replying but we have had a very busy week and I've got behind. So glad you like my watercolours!

Happy WOYWW and God bless,
Shoshi #18
A very good post. I enjoyed reading it and learned a lot.

Many greetings
A wise and thoughtful post Arnoldo, appreciate the works of art also. Great stamp on second one and calligraphic sentiment on first.
I wonder what we will really think when we see Christ face to face??
I suspect it would be the the words of the hymn “I wish that I’d loved Him more” and again “I wish that I’d given Him more”.

We surrender to Christ our Saviour but are always finding un-surrendered areas in our heart, as John said in 3:30 “He must increase, I must decrease”. I think that’s the difference between Martha and Mary.
Thanks for being a blessing, and may God bless you too.
Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

{Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
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