A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Martha, Martha

There has been talk recently of “opinionated” women – that is, women who are not afraid to speak their minds – as if they were an innovation of the twentieth century. Today we celebrate the memorial of a holy woman who was not afraid to speak her mind in the first century: St. Martha, the sister of Lazarus. In the two Gospel readings offered for this day, we have wonderful glimpses into the character of a woman who was both outspoken and devout.

In the passage from Luke’s Gospel, Martha has gone out to invite our Lord to her home and is diligent in the details of hospitality. She forthrightly expresses her concern about Mary leaving her to do everything, but accepts our Lord’s correction.

In the passage from John’s Gospel, once again it is Martha who goes out to meet our Lord and who is attentive to practical details (such as the problem of putrefaction). This time Martha is forthright in expressing not only practical concerns, but also her faith in Jesus as her Savior and Lord.

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."

Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise."

Martha said to him,
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."

Jesus told 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?"

She said to him,

"Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ,

the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."

Martha is a great example to all of us: she continually invites Jesus into her home and her life, she is open and honest with him, she accepts his correction and instruction, she expresses her faith boldly, and she is diligent in doing the right thing.