Have you ever been in a situation where you’re in a group having a conversation with friends or family, perhaps at a meal, and someone pulls out their phone? Maybe it’s an important message that needs an immediate response, or maybe that person is just bored and decides to check email or refresh their Instagram feed. Admittedly, I have been on both ends of this: I’ve been present when other people at the table pull out their phone (and feel annoyed by that), but have also been guilty of this social faux pas as well.
As another example: my wife and I love to host company at our house for meals and social gatherings. When our guests are visiting, it’s easy for me to be distracted by making sure that everything stays clean, cups are filled, and dishes washed after a meal. I usually justify these actions as part of being a good host but also attribute them to my OCD personality.
These situations are similar to the story we read in this Sunday’s gospel where Martha becomes angry with her sister Mary who sat down and listened to Jesus rather than help with housework. Jesus told Martha, however, that Mary had made the better choice.
I would definitely feel the frustration if Jesus had told me this as well, but it causes me to stop and think: when guests are visiting, or I am in a conversation, what is happening in that moment? The connection that is being made should always be my top priority.
Let’s challenge ourselves this week, to resist the urge for distractions and focus more on the relationships and interactions that are occurring right in front of us and live in the moment.