Memorial of Saint Martha
First Reading: Jeremiah 14:17-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 32:18-21
Gospel: John 11:19-27
When I was a little boy I like most kids my age believed in certain things, and no matter what you told me you couldn't shake what I believed. I believed that it really was the tooth fairy who left money under my pillow for each fallen tooth. I believed that it was Santa Claus who brought me all the wonderful toys that I received each Christmas morning; and there was no doubt that it was the Easter bunny who brought a basket full of goodies each Easter morning. I imagine that Martha had this same unshakable faith that we read about in the gospel today.
Here we find Martha in the midst of mourning over her brother Lazarus who had just died. When she hears that Jesus is coming she rushes out to Him. In the midst of her suffering, she knows the power of Jesus and submits to Him. She submits to His power and authority as the Christ, she doesn't question or ask anything of Him, just recognizes who he is and surrenders to Him. Jesus tells 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." Then he asks; "Do you believe this?" Her reply is Yes; in the midst of her suffering, she has the courage to say "yes, I believe!" I pray that we can all find that kind of courage whenever we are in pain or are suffering.
Martha teaches us much here about surrender to God's will in our lives and about who we should put our faith in. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the things of this world, so much so that it seems as though we are putting all of our faith into things or people. But we need to be very much like Saint Martha here and give ourselves to Jesus and put our faith in Him. He is the "resurrection and the life" and if we believe in Him, we will never have to worry about death.
Do you believe this?
Lord Jesus, you are our savior and the giver of life. Help us to follow you more closely and to serve you with all that we are. Increase our faith and help us to build a foundation of our lives that is build around you. Lord, be with all those who are questioning their faith or who have fallen away help to bring them back to your everlasting love. Amen.