Many of you know that different professions have different patron saints. I would like for you to guess groups of folks who would likely ask St. Martha to be their patron saint. Does it surprise you that she is the patron saint to cooks, domestic servants, homemakers, housewives, hotel-keepers, and housemaids? We know her sister, St. Mary Magdalene, well for her devotion to Jesus; the image of Mary Magdalene is that of a woman who sits by the feet of Jesus, listens and contemplates what he says. On the other hand, the image of Martha is that of a woman who is making sure that guests like Jesus feels comfortable and well cared for by going back and forth between kitchen and the living room. Yet like her sister, Mary Magdalene, Martha, too, is devoted to Jesus.
When Jesus arrived near her house when her brother Lazarus died, Jesus asked her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" And Martha replied, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." Although we often think of Martha as an active busybody who does not have time to pray contemplatively, she somehow gets it--she gets who Jesus really is. And this would be possible because she is a friend of Jesus. There is a difference between being a friend and being a disciple. You can be a disciple who memorized all the words that Jesus spoke, yet you have no love, no courage to stand by your friend when he is nailed on the Cross. How many of his disciples were with him on Calvary? But how many of his friends were with him on the Calvary? To get to the heart of our faith, is to become his friend--a friend who is willing to stand up for him, a friend who sacrifices for him, a friend who can say, I love him because he is my friend. And to get to that point, is to spend time with Jesus to grow to love him.