July 29: Memorial of St. Martha
Sometimes we think of St. Martha only as she appears in the story of Jesus’ visit to Bethany (Lk 10:38-42). “Martha, Martha,” Jesus says, “you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.” He refers, of course, to her sister Mary, who remained seated at His feet listening to His words while Martha served. But there is another aspect to Martha, which is highlighted in the story of the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:19-27). In this Gospel narrative, Martha shows herself to be a woman of tremendous faith. Martha tells 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 to Martha that Jesus makes one of his great “I Am” statements: “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.” He questions Martha: “Do you believe this?” And she answers: “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” Today let us pray for the gift of a deepened faith, a faith that recognizes the presence of God even in the most distressing and terrible situations. St. Martha, pray for us!