Jul 29 – Memorial for St. Martha
Jesus liked to stay at the house of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, his friends at Bethany, when he was in Judaea. One of these visits has ever remained dear to Christian memory. On that occasion Martha, busily serving the Master, asked Him to persuade Mary to help her. Jesus explained to her that certain souls, called by God, should choose a better part still — the primary duty of listening to Him and contemplating Him.
After His Ascension, she was seized by the Jews, together with many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles. Martha, after having won the love and admiration of the Marseilles people by the sanctity of her life and her wonderful charity, withdrew with several virtuous women to a spot remote from men, where she lived for a long time, greatly renowned for her piety and prudence.
Jer 15:10, 16-21
‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’
Birds of a feather flock together. I noticed that there are always people who gather around due to common interests. In my case, it is a situation where everyone is a do-er. There is a common desire to engage in action and little time for discussion. Perhaps it is the feeling that action equates to productivity; but the readings of today remind us that there is a time and place for everything.
Martha is often portrayed in the Gospels as a lady of action. She continually seeks to engage in activities to make the life of people, including Jesus, comfortable. She is also very vocal in what she feels about a particular issue. Yet, despite all the struggles she had in her life, she never lost hope in Jesus. The Gospel of today shares how Martha continued to hold her faith strong in Jesus despite the death of her brother Lazarus.
God is always with us in the journey of life. He always hears our prayers which we make and the answers he gives, even if it is a no, is also suitable for us at the point in time. This means that whilst there is a place and time for action — and indeed, the Church does require us to respond decisively when the time calls for it — we also need to ground our actions in faith and prayer.
As we continue with our life in this uncertain world, all the more will there be a need for us to deepen our faith. Let us turn to God in prayer and ask Him to guide our actions to bring His love to the world.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for faith to continue to share your word with the people whom we meet.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who spread the love of Christ.