"Marcia, Marcia, Marcia"
I'm referring to this week's Gospel as "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia."
To answer your question: yes, I am old enough to know about the Brady Bunch. Growing up, my mom loved watching the Brady Bunch and often referenced it in her parenting. Her favorite line when I complained was, "Pat, don't be such a Jan." For those of you who don't know the Brady Bunch, Jan would often complain about her sister and would voice her displeasure by saying, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia."
My mom didn't want her son to be a complainer or a "comparer." Each time I complained my sister got something I didn't. Each time I complained that my parents treated my brother differently and better. Each time I complained that the buddy up the street had the newest toy and I didn't, my mom would say stop being a Jan. She stressed to stop worrying so much about what I don't have and to start focusing on what I did have. She stressed to stop worrying about how others were treated and focus instead on how I was treating others.
Now that I'm older, I realize what she was trying to have me understand. My mom wanted me to stop comparing myself to others and instead be who God called me to be: Pat Fish. Not Marcia. Not Jan. But me. And she was right as she always is/was, but don't tell her I admitted to this.
All of us have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. We do it as siblings. We do it in the classroom. We do it in our workplaces. We compare ourselves and often find our worth in being "better" than others.
Our Gospel is about two sisters: Mary & Martha. It starts off very well but quickly turns to comparison. Martha welcomes Jesus into their home and shows great hospitality. She soon finds herself busy performing the many tasks of hosting. Martha was preparing the meal, setting the table, and serving Jesus and His disciples. Meanwhile, Mary is sitting at Jesus feet listening to Him. Martha sees this and her hospitality quickly turns to hostility (shout-out to Pr. Travis Borkosky for that thought).
Martha approaches Jesus and starts complaining. She has her "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" moment. And Jesus gently re-directs her focus off her sister and onto herself. Jesus actually says what Mary is doing is good. Mary is focused on attending to Jesus and listening to His teachings. Jesus commends Mary for this. And in doing so, Jesus helps Martha realize service isn't about tasks, it's about relationships. Hosting isn't about tasks, it's about people.
Instead of treasuring the fact that Jesus is in her home, Martha is pre-occupied with comparing herself to her sister. And I think we do the same today.
We get so wrapped up in our tasks, in our lists, in our worries/stresses/troubles, that we miss the fact that Jesus is standing in our midst. We complain. We compare. And that's not the life God called us to. Instead, He called us to live. To be grateful. To be generous. To be who God created us to be.
Thank you for all you do in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus!