Jul 29 2020 Reflection
Wednesday 29 July 2020
First Reading: JER 15:10, 16-21
God is my refuge on the day of distress.
PS 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
Gospel Reading: JN 11:19-27
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Martha
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
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.”
I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. (John 11:22)
We often think of St. Martha as an example of what we shouldn’t do. When she hosted a dinner for Jesus, she was the one serving at table, “anxious and worried about many things” (Luke 10:41). It was her sister, Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus, who had chosen the “better part” (10:42). Does that really mean that Martha came in second?
Well, sort of. But in today’s Gospel, we meet a more mature Martha. She’s not so overcome by worry. She recognizes that God is working through Jesus, and she believes that God will give Jesus whatever he asks (John 11:22). She hasn’t yet grasped that he can raise Lazarus from the dead, but she believes that Jesus is the Messiah. She recognizes that he comes from God, and this strengthens her faith.
In this story, Martha’s faith starts out as the ability to trust God. You might find trust like that difficult, especially if, like Martha, you’ve just experienced loss. But you can learn from her. She found hope in the promise of resurrection for her brother. She saw that her fears and worries were nothing compared to the power of Jesus, so she put all her trust in him. You can do that too. Even if you still feel fear, you can be confident in Jesus, who conquered death and lives forever.
Faith is more than passively trusting in God though. It’s actively believing that he can do miracles. Martha can help you understand this type of faith. She came to believe that Jesus could do anything, and she told him so. You can do that too, by asking God for help in a challenging situation. Ask him for a miracle: healing for a loved one, the conversion of a friend, a new job. Ask in confidence, but also trust that Jesus in his wisdom will answer your prayer in the best possible way.
Exercising your trust and faith like this will help you grow closer to Jesus. Then you can say with Martha, “Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:27).
“Jesus, I want to grow in my faith like Martha!”