This homily, based on Genesis 18:1-10a and Luke 10:38-42, is for the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University.

We’re all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary–not only because we’ve heard this Gospel story before, but also because most of us have wrestled with the issue it raises in our own lives.


Martha is frantic¬†in the kitchen, concocting whatever she could to serve their special guest and friend, Jesus, who, because he’s very close to them, has probably shown up unannounced. She’s doing what she must, but her dear sister Mary isn’t. Needing help, Martha calls for Mary, but gets no answer. She peers through the smoke rising from the stove, and of course, there is Mary, sitting idly at the feet of Jesus, a special captive audience of one. If this had happened today, Mary probably would have already¬†posted a couple of selfies with their celebrity guest on Instagram.