Homily...Two Different Sisters, Two Different Saints

I used the gospel story of Martha & Mary at my mom's funeral 15 years ago. Admittedly, an unusual gospel for a funeral, but these two women reminded me of my mom. Martha was a type A kind of personality...busy with all the details of hospitality. She was upset that her sister just sat the Lord's feet while she was busy in the kitchen. My mom was also a person who kept busy. She made and served family meals (and sat and ate last). She worked as a parish secretary, was involved in parish groups, and was a eucharistic minister. We call St. Martha a saint because she was active in her faith, in her service of others. But Jesus needed to remind her that her sister was also a saint because she sat the Lord's feet & listened to him.

Mary also knew how to be hospitable. She was attentive to her guest. She was present to him & let him be present to her. Jesus praised her for this. My mom too, knew when to put the activity aside for the sake of rest and prayer. She hosted a bible study group. She prayed her rosary and novenas at home. She went to daily Mass. 

It can be hard these days for us to find such balance. We like to be busy (it means we're important), we like to be active, on the go, involved. But taking time to rest, to be attentive, reflective, present to the Lord & to others, this is also important. Both are necessary for holiness: active service, prayerful rest.