From the Word of the Day
“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[f]Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah,[g] the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”.”
(John 11: 21-27)
The death and burial of Lazarus is an event that marks the deep sorrow and sadness in the life of the two sisters who lived together, Martha and Mary. We will focus on Martha who perhaps often is viewed as too active and less attentive than Mary in creating an atmosphere and performing gestures of hospitality in regard to the Lord.
Here we meet her in her anguished venting that could even sound like she was scolding Jesus. However, it is beautiful and consoling to see how the Lord, not only does not resent this, but is attentive to Martha’s affirmation that shows her complete trust. He appreciates this and takes the occasion to affirm the deepest truth of His mystery.
Martha had said she knew that whatever He asked of God would be granted. Jesus not only promises her that her brother will rise. When she only understands this an allusion to resurrection at the final judgment, He gives her this truth that is the fulcrum of our faith, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die”.
Martha’s immediate response is radiant with a total, integral faith. What else could she have added to the words, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God; the one coming into the world”.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will repeat Martha’s affirmation with all my heart and thank Jesus for coming into the world.
Martha, dear sister, rooted in the depths of the Faith that saves. Forgive me for all the times I have compared you to your sister in judgmental ways. Saint Martha, You recognized Jesus our promised Savior and served Him lovingly. Help me to renew my faith in Jesus each day as my Savior.
The Voice of Pope Francis
Remaining faithful implies going out. It is precisely by remaining in the Lord that we go out of ourselves. Paradoxically, precisely because we remain, precisely if we are faithful, we change. We do not remain faithful to the letter like traditionalists or fundamentalists. Fidelity is always a change, a blossoming, a growth.