Saturday, July 30, 2016

The memorial of Saint Martha - 29 July 2016

Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
John 11:19-27

We all know the gospel story of Martha and Mary, where Mary sits at the feet of Jesus listening to Him, while Martha is "burdened with much serving." From this, we may regard Martha as "active" and Mary as "contemplative." We may even think Mary is somehow better than Martha, since she "chose the better part," as Jesus tells Martha. (Luke 10:40-42)
 But in today's gospel, we see that Martha is no spiritual dullard! John notes that it is Martha who comes out to welcome Jesus, while Mary stays home. It is Martha who makes a beautiful profession of faith in Jesus, telling Him, "I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God." (John 11:27). And even though her brother Lazarus is dead and in the tomb, Martha tells Jesus, "even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you." And indeed He does, raising Lazarus back to life!
 So, if St. Martha seems 'under-rated' in your opinion, re-read today's gospel from St.John. Martha had a deep and lively faith, no doubt about it! I like to think that Martha found hidden graces in her kitchen chores, where she grew in faith and virtue among her pots and pans!
O Lord, sometimes I'm a "Mary" and sometimes I'm more like Martha! Help me to remember that both these women are good role models! When I need to spend time cooking, show me there is great grace in preparing food for those I love.
I might add that I do the cooking at home! Show me, Lord, that just as contemplation has its spiritual merits, so too does my daily routine of necessary chores. Amen.
St. Martha, pray for us!
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne
Launceston on Tasmania

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