Be Mary Before Becoming Martha

Are you a Martha or a Mary? Do you struggle to find moments to sit with Jesus in the midst of a busy day? In examining the story of Martha and Mary, Dr. Sri offers that we can find balance between the busyness of life and attentiveness to Jesus’ presence.

Snippet from the Show
Take a moment to pull back from the busyness of life and recall the holy presence of God.


Busy or Distracted

In Luke 10:38-42, you will find the story of Martha and Mary. In summary, Jesus comes to visit Mary and Martha, two sisters. Mary chooses to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to him speak. Meanwhile, Martha busies herself with serving and eventually goes to Jesus and complains that she is burdened and Mary is not helping her. Jesus responds to Mary by saying, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

Often, when this story is read, the question is posed, “Are you a Martha or a Mary?” Are you attentive to the Lord or are you making yourself too busy? However, there is more to Martha than just her being busy. She was also distracted. She lacked attentiveness to the Lord. It is entirely possible to be attentive to the Lord even in the midst of a busy life. We need to meet Jesus in the busyness of life.

Prayer First

In life, prayer must come first. In other words, we must strive to be like Mary first. We must strive for the attentiveness she exhibited when she sat at the feet of the Lord. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be busy like Martha. However, that busyness must be marked with an attentiveness to the presence of God.

3 Practical Tips
  1. Do an Examination of Conscience
    Ask yourself, “What is behind your drive to be so busy? Why are you filling your calendar? Do you seek validation in performance, success, or production? Perhaps, you have a fear of missing out. Or maybe, you believe that in order to be a good parent, you must allow your child to participate in every opportunity that comes their way.
  2. What can you cut back?
    Are there things in your life that you can cut back on? Perhaps, you have commitments or tasks that are not essential for you to hold onto.
  3. How can you withdraw from busyness?
    Find ways to pause in the midst of busyness. Find ways to recognize God’s presence in your life.

Do you have questions about the Catholic Faith?

Send in your questions to


  • Visit Dr. Sri’s website at and to book online events with Dr. Sri email
  • Find more of Dr. Sri’s episodes at 
  • Ascension is pleased to offer our new and improved online bible study programs and sacramental preparation programs digitally to help you minister with flexibility. Go to to view all our offerings

Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

1 Comment

  1. I have often been shamed for being a Mary type person. Truthfully I do sometimes neglect certain duties – nothing that can’t be done later – to study more about the Lord. What’s a good way to balance these situations?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never Miss an Episode!

Get show notes, exclusive bonus content, and more sent straight to your inbox.