Anxious and Worried about Many Things 16

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5

  • Christ reminded us at the Last Supper, when he told his Apostles that he was the vine and they were the branches, that we should always stay united to him.
  • His encounter with Mary and Martha in this Sunday’s Gospel teaches us the same lesson, a lesson that Martha really needed to learn.

Martha needed to learn that what we do for Christ has to flow out of what we are for him: true and devoted friends.

It’s easy to overload our agenda with so many activities and commitments (even good and beneficial ones) that we lose sight of our real goal in life: to know, love, and imitate Christ more each day.

  • Only that will give real meaning to our lives.
  • Only that will enable us to help others find meaning.
  • Only that will fill us with the steadily increasing joy we long for.

Jesus isn’t saying that we shouldn’t do thingsserve otherswork hard, and honor our commitments.

  • No, Jesus doesn’t reprimand Martha for her activity.
  • He reprimands her for being “anxious and worried” about all those activities.
  • She has become so caught up in getting things done, that she has lost sight of why she’s doing them.
  • She is like a branch desperately trying to bear fruit by its own power.

The result is predictable – frustration, anger, impatience, losing her temper.

Unless we are plugged into Christ and his grace,

  • unless we constantly feed our souls with his words,
  • unless everything we do flows out of our friendship with Him – the one thing needed –
  • none of our actions, even the good ones, can have lasting value.

And this alone will give lasting peace to our hearts.



  1. Pingback: Anxious and Worried about Many Things - CATHOLIC FEAST - Every day is a Celebration

    • Thanks, Terry. We all need the reminder. In a way, that’s what this lesson is about. It’s not that Martha did not know. She just needed to be reminded. Distractions do that to us.

      God bless and have a beautiful weekend!

  2. Very true. I have heard some people say that in some circles, Catholicism seems like nothing but meetings, events, socials, etc. – but no one ever really seems to get down to the real business of being Catholic. It can be a hard balance sometimes, especially when we get caught up in so much.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Balance is the word. There’s plenty of room for fun and business, but first things first: Time for God means putting everything else aside to be with Him.

      And you know what, I find that “true devotion” more in some Catholic circles than I do anywhere else. We have our Marthas and our Mary’s too. Both are deeply loved by God and both are needed in the Church — as long as we don’t forget “the one thing needed”, our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Not a problem at all, except that I could write a post on it, so my difficulty would be keeping it short.

      I had a strong personal experience of Catholic “devotion” at an early age, not in my own household (my parents were converts and slow to learn the ropes when I was young) but in the pews.

      My entire family, outside of my immediate family was Protestant, mainly Southern Baptist and Methodist, and very anti-Catholic. So were most of my peers. I had been to plenty of Protestant services and my impression was just as you put it (except that it was an observation about some Catholic circles): meetings, events, socials, etc.

      My personal experience as a youngster in the Catholic Church can be summed up in one word, which came to me as I observed it. That word is devotion.

      For example, before I knew what a tabernacle was, went to CCD, or had any religious education, I intuitively knew what Eucharistic adoration was, because I observed it in other people and was immediately drawn to it. And I still observe it today in the parishes near my home.

      This and other observations I had when I was young had a profound and lasting affect on me and has strongly influenced my Christian identity and spirituality. From my perspective, devotional Catholicism is anything but superficial.

      However, people are social by nature, we need recreation, and we have to attend to business on a regular basis since Churches and Charities have their institutional aspects. So it’s not unusual that we find these things in Catholic circles and even to excess at times. But that’s only on the surface. On a much deeper and broader level, it’s all about Christ.

      Anyways, that’s my experience.

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