Memorial for St Martha
We all remember the story of Jesus coming to visit Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Mary sat at His feet, Martha was out in the kitchen banging the pots and pans. Martha wants Jesus to tell Mary to help her. Jesus does not but tells Martha that she is anxious about many things. Mary has taken the better part, sitting at Jesus’ feet. To my way of thinking, Jesus was not one to criticize or chastise people who were trying to do the right thing to the best of their ability. Martha, in the time of her culture, was doing just that. Trying to do what she had been trained was the right thing to do. What Mary was doing appeared wrong to Martha. Jesus calms Martha when He calls her name, not once, but twice. In a loving way, Martha, Martha. Martha could sense the love Jesus has for her.
Now Lazarus has died. When Jesus comes it is Martha who goes out to meet Jesus while Mary sits at home. Martha’s faith has grown. She says something in this gospel that many others then, or now, did not say. She said, “You are the Christ. The Son of God. Whatever you ask of God, He will give to You.” Mary was sitting at home.
Through all of Jesus miracles and signs, He looked for the faith of the people around Him. In this instance, it is the faith of Martha that encourages Jesus to bring Lazarus back to life. There were others around Jesus who were ridiculing Him, but it was the faith of Martha that encourages. Martha should be the example of how our faith grows. Imagine, Martha expected a miracle! She did not put that request into words. She just said, “Lord if you were here.” When you turn to Jesus, is it with the expectation of a miracle? Martha hurried to Jesus expecting her prayer to be answered. Mary remained seated at home. Whose faith has grown? Who has accepted Jesus as the Messiah?
When you turn to Jesus in prayer, what do you expect? Sometimes we think we know what we should expect. I think we should be like Martha. You are here, Lord. I turn to you. Help my faith to grow. Let me trust in You. Grant to me that what You know I need most.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen