[Illustration: Christ with Mary and Martha
Painted by H. Siemiradzki]
Once Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha invited him to her house. She had a sister named Mary who seated herself at Jesus' feet and listened to his words. But Martha was worried by her desire to wait on him, and came and said to him, |Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.| But Jesus said to her, |Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but few things are necessary, really only one. Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken away from her.|
Once when Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road, some one said to him, |I will follow you wherever you go.| Jesus said to him, |The foxes have holes and the wild birds their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.| He said to another, |Follow me|; but the man said, |Let me first go and bury my father.| Jesus said to him, |Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and tell about the Kingdom of God.| Still another said, |I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say good-by to my people at home.| Jesus said to him, |No one who looks back after having put his hand to the plough is fit for the Kingdom of God.|
Once, when crowds were following him, he turned and said to them, |If any one who comes to me is not willing to give up his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his very life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross, as he follows me, cannot be my disciple.
|Who of you, if he wishes to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see whether he has money enough to finish it? Otherwise, if he has laid the foundation and is unable to finish the building, all who see it make fun of him and say, 'This man began to build but could not finish!'|