Today is Wednesday the 29 July, the feast of St Martha, in the 17th week of Ordinary Time.
The Monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Nos autem gloriari: ‘We should glory in nothing other than the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection; through him we are saved and set free. May God have mercy upon us and bless us, may he make his face shine upon us and be merciful to us.’ As I listen, can I feel God’s face shining on me, and open myself to that light, to that loving presence?
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘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. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’
Martha and Mary had asked Jesus to come and cure their sick brother. But Jesus was slow in coming, and their brother died before he got there. How do you think they are feeling when Jesus finally arrives?
Martha goes out to meet Jesus. Her sister Mary stays at home. What might your reaction have been here? Which sister would you have wanted to be with?
When Jesus says ‘I am the resurrection and the life’, what might you want to say, or to do, in response? Martha responds three times to Jesus in this passage.
As you listen again, notice how her responses change in reply to what he says.
Take a moment now to speak with Jesus about someone dear to you who has died.
Using the Suscipe Prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola:
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.