Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
What a happy coincidence that this year the reading of Martha and Mary falls on the same day as the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. The two are perfectly suited.
It has become fashionable recently to try to rehabilitate Martha, saying that we should not overlook the importance of activity in the Christian life. But this line of thought does violence to the express purpose of the story. Mary is approved because she has chosen the better part. She has chosen to focus upon the person of Jesus and listen to Him. Mary is approved and Martha is reprimanded. Why? Rather than applying these two figures to the contemplative and active lives, let’s seek our solution elsewhere. The division between Martha and Mary is the difference between self-generated plans of life and lives which are directed by Jesus. Mary represents the person who allows Jesus to guide her activity through the inspiration of His love instead of the person who comes up with her own plans and subsequently offers them to God.
For generations the rosary has been an indispensible means to focus our attention on Jesus through Mother Mary in order to allow His life to become the pattern of our lives. Springing from the prayers of our youth, it initiates us into the quiet meditation which becomes the food of committed Catholic life. In this way we learn with Mary to sit at His feet, to listen to Him, and to choose the better part.