July 29: ST. MARTHA
Though Sunday Mass takes precedence this year, let us invoke St. Martha’s intercession so that we too would take loving care of Jesus and have an intimate friendship with Him like she did, together with her siblings, Mary and Lazarus. May our homes, our souls, be like theirs at Bethany where Jesus found rest and hospitality.
Our Lord Jesus Christ liked the home of Martha, her brother Lazarus, and her sister Mary. As our Lord’s friends in Bethany, they took loving care of Him. We should ask God to help us unite Martha’s intense work and Mary’s contemplation. Orthodox tradition relates that Martha fled Judea after the persecution following the martyrdom of St. Stephen, assisting his brother Lazarus in the proclaiming of the Gospel in various lands. Mary joined them later and the three of them came to Cyprus, where Lazarus became the first Bishop of Kittim (modern Larnaca). All three died in Cyprus.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY (Jn 11:19–27)
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.”
Almighty ever-living God, whose Son was pleased to be welcomed in Saint Martha’s house as a guest, grant, we pray, that, through her intercession, serving Christ faithfully in our brothers and sisters we may merit to be received by you in the halls of heaven. Through Our Lord…