by Sr Nunother
It’s pine pollen season on Cape Cod and my new best friend is a Swiffer. As I roam the convent, armed for duty, I think of Martha, the ultimate Biblical homemaker, and her sister Mary. There is, of course, the familiar story from Luke 10, where Jesus tells Martha to relax and commends Mary for choosing the better course of action. It’s easy for me to hear only the rebuke and overlook that Martha is strong and forthright (“tell Mary to help me!”) and comfortable to be herself in Jesus’ presence. Mary’s strength rests quietly in her gratitude and devotion.
John 11 recalls the death of their brother Lazarus. Martha emerges as a woman of faith, running to meet Jesus and proclaiming, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Then, practical as always, when Jesus wants the stone removed, she reminds him there could be an unpleasant odor. At a later time, in a loving act of impracticality Mary pours expensive perfume on Jesus feet and washes them with her hair.
One sister is bold and quick of action, the other reflective and spiritually sensitive. Both are welcome and loved by God.