The Biblical Relationship
Mary and Martha, like everyone else in the Gospels, live in relationship to Jesus/Christ. Martha meets the earthly needs of the human being, Jesus, in whom the Christ incarnated and Mary engages with the Christ and the purpose of his incarnation. These are social/spiritual deeds. Both Mary and Martha were in service to the other, Jesus/Christ as OTHER, not self.
Mary and Martha:
Archetypes of Hospitality and Spiritual Engagement
I want to address this sacred social experience which is really about seeing the Christ-Consciousness dwelling in another human being. I am talking about NOW and HERE…not about the Biblical story.
Martha serves and connects with the Other through hospitality.
Mary serves and connects with the Other through engagement.
Both are seeing Christ-Consciousness embodied in another human being. Imagine the hospitality and engagement you might offer another human being if you could be aware, if you could perceive, the I-Consciousness dwelling within their soul and needing to incarnate into their whole earthy being and all their thoughts, words, and deeds.
Mary and Martha in My Work
Right now all of my sacred conversations take place via phone or zoom. I do not worry about hospitality in space but I bring Martha’s hospitality in my caring for their sense of being welcomed. I bring warmth in my voice and a smile on my face. There is exciting scientific research on the role of prosody in the voice and expression in the face in comforting the other…Martha’s gesture.
I bring Mary’s authentic engagement. I listen. I ask questions. I revere and encourage what is incarnating in the soul and life of my client.
Embracing the Gifts of Mary and Martha
With family and friends, we want to be awake to both giving and receiving these loving gestures of Martha and Mary.
I am realizing how important it is to bring myself into this understanding of Mary and Martha. Yesterday, I was invited to a neighbor’s for a visit. She was very thoughtful of my comfort. We were sitting outside and as the sun was setting, she noticed I was squinting, She made me stand up and moved my chair so that the sun was no longer shining directly into my eyes. It was a loving Martha gesture.
And her questions and responses during our conversation were pure Mary. Thoroughly engaged, she kept asking me to share more deeply about my work. Her open heart and mind, opened my heart and mind.
What a blessing of friendship.
Nurturing the Self:
Inner Martha and My Well-Being and
Inner Mary and My Inner Development
I’ve lived alone for the last 12 years. My Inner Martha and Inner Mary live in relationship to myself. I’ve made myself a comfortable home. I prepare myself nourishing meals. (I do wish I took myself on long walks and could keep my papers organized)
Encouraged by my Inner Mary, so sensitive to my searching soul, I buy myself great books full of wisdom and inspiration and I read most of them. Each evening, my Inner Mary has me write down a wisdom-seeking question to take into my sleep.
In the Imagine Self Mandala of Meaning and Purpose, my Inner Martha lives in the quadrant of Well-Being, and Inner Mary enlivens the quadrant of Inner Development. Both nurture my incarnating Selfhood of Christ-Consciousness.
This is a new living imagination for me to see this Inner Martha-Mary be revealed in my relationship to my home, my well-being and my work.
I do hope you are taking all this in to your self-awareness. Care for the comfort and beauty of your home from the inspiration of your Inner Martha and seek motivation and fulfillment in your inner life from your Inner Mary.
Not About Physical Gender
Yes, men have an Inner Martha and Inner Mary. Just like women have an Inner Lazarus, which I will write about soon.