Memorial of St. Martha

Martha gets a bad reputation among Christians. Everyone remembers the time when Jesus chided her for being so busy, but few people remember when Martha was with Jesus at the tomb of her brother Lazarus. Here, Martha expresses confidence to Jesus that “whatever you ask of God, God will give you,” and when Jesus asks if she believes that He is “the resurrection and the life,” she replies that she does, and that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of God.” If the heart of Christianity is the belief that Jesus, true God and true man, has conquered death, then Martha makes one of the first true professions of faith in history.

This profession does not come out of nowhere. Martha has known Jesus for some time—He is close to the whole family. She knows Jesus as one friend knows another. When we express true confidence in a friend, it is from long knowledge of what the friend can and cannot do. Martha has faith in Jesus because she knows Jesus. If we wish to have faith like Martha’s, we need to take time to know Jesus and reflect on His presence in our lives. If we are only active in the world, and never passive, never thinking about the gifts we have gotten and are getting from Jesus, we will never have Martha’s faith that even death can be overcome by Jesus.

July 29th, 2015