When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord … I am sure that God will give you whatever you ask of him .. ..”
It is interesting that two sisters, so different, were praised on two separate occasions for two very different reasons. Both are Advent instructions for us. In Luke’s gospel, yesterday, Mary listened. Good for her. Martha was too busy to listen. Too bad for her. But in today’s gospel, Mary was useless. She was fainting away with grief for her lost brother. Martha was the model for life on this occasion. She was the “take charge person,” showing mastery over her grief and a marvelous conviction of life after death based on her faith in Jesus. Because of who Jesus was, he could raise up the dead body of Lazarus if he wanted to. And so he did. It is good to know that both Martha and Mary—hospitality and prayer—are models for our Advent scene.
MARTHA SPEAKS TO YOU
“I hope you understand that there are many good ways for getting yourself ready to meet Jesus. Indeed, my sister and I speak about the two most essential parts of good preparations. I specialized in welcoming people into our home and in my strong faith in Jesus. I encourage you to do the same. Good deeds can ‘set the table/ so to speak, so that God’s good deeds may come to you. My sister’s quiet prayer describes the other side of Advent’s importance. Both kindness and prayer are essential.”
Jesus, my Lord, you always loved your friends. You needed their open ears to listen to you and their open house to welcome you. Let me be both for you and for all who are related to me in any way. Please bless my prayerfulness and hospitality. They are the two sure ways to welcome you. Amen.