Saint Martha, Memorial
Malvern Minute

 

Saint Martha, Memorial

July 29, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

First Letter of Saint John 4:7-16

Psalm 34

John 11:19-27

 

Today the Church celebrates the Memorial Feast of Saint Martha.  When we think of her and her siblings Mary and Lazarus, we are in the company of those who were Jesus’ closest friends.  Toward the end of His public life the Lord would often stay at the home of these close friends.  Strong bonds of affection closely united the three to our Lord. 

Saint Martha is probably better remembered for the Gospel story about when she complained to Jesus that her sister Mary was not helping her get the food ready.   However, today’s Gospel narrative serves as an important counterbalance.  If all we ever knew about Martha was the time she complained about her sister, we would never have become aware of her remarkable faith.  Today, as she mourns the death of her brother Lazarus and Jesus comes to Bethany to see her and Mary. 

We read in John’s Gospel, “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went out to meet Him; but Mary sat at home.” Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”  It is already an extraordinary profession of faith; but the conversation between Martha and Jesus continues.  From this simple woman of Bethany, we come to understand what it means to believe in Christ Jesus.  Our Lord responds to her, “Your brother will rise.”  Martha responds, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”    Mary not only responds that she believes but that she proclaims Jesus as the Son of God. 

Friends, this is the essence of Christianity; Martha in her response condenses the whole of the faith into a simple “profession of belief,” which in turn is the faith of every believer.  Wouldn’t you have loved to be with them to witness what happens next? 

Question of the Day:  How will you invite Jesus into your home making Him ever present in your life?

Prayer:  Almighty, ever-living God, Your Son was a frequent guest in Saint Martha’s home.  Through her intercession grant that we may faithfully minister to our brethren and merit to be received in Your heavenly home.  Amen.

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

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