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Abraham. Vocation is to have a son. Daily tasks lead to that vocation. By living well the vocation of the present moment, God is able to bring Abraham to his bigger vocation.
Mary represents heaven (Vocation) where we will be with God forever and all our desires will be satisfied. But we get there through daily acts of loving service in this earth, seen in Martha.
In this short story, the two women also represent the two sides of the Christian life. Mary also represents prayer or contemplation. Martha represents service or action. We need to sit at the Lord’s feet and we need to make the faith concrete in our daily lives. For this reason, you cannot aspire to be only a Mary or only a Martha. You must be both. Even the Benedictine monks, who depart from the world for a life of prayer, have as their motto “prayer and work” – but their work serves their prayer (they don’t get sucked into workaholism).
The goal of the Christian in the world, who is not consecrated for a life of prayer like the Benedictines, is to be a contemplative in action, to be Mary and Martha in the world.
Contemplation: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength…”
Action: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The two sides work together. The vocation of the present moment does not impede our union with God that we draw from our prayer. Contemplative union can continue after prayer is done. Perhaps noticed after times of adoration or retreat or after Good Friday service etc.
A lovestruck person carries the beloved with them everywhere they go. This is what it means to pray without ceasing – to always bear within us the union of our heart to the Lord and His Will.