Tuesday, 29 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of St. Martha, whom we know from the Holy Gospels as both the sister of the dead Lazarus risen to life by Jesus, as well as the one who were very busy with her servings to the Lord even though her sister Mary sat down listening attentively to the Lord speaking and teaching.

St. Martha is one of the holy women mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, and she was one of the very loyal followers of Jesus, who followed Him around as He ministered to the people of God. And it is likely that she together with her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus also followed Jesus through His last moments in life, when He went on His Passion and died on the cross.

But she was not perfect and was not a super woman as we all had noticed, and which I had pointed out just earlier on. She had her imperfections, and she was indeed the same as all of us, who have our own weaknesses in life. But regardless of this, she managed to overcome her weakness and fears, and following God, she found the love of God which had been manifested through none other than Jesus Christ our Lord.

St. Martha reminded us through her examples and her shortcomings that we all often in life are too busy to spend some time with God, and carrying on with our daily routines and businesses, we often forget about God and lose our focus in life. Instead we ended up like St. Martha who ended up losing the perfect opportunity to listen to the word of God just because she was busy serving the Lord and ensuring the food and drinks are all properly served.

At least we have to credit St. Martha that she had a good intention, as she wanted to serve the Lord and be as good a host as she could to this important and amazing visitor, Jesus Christ the Saviour Himself. However, she forgot that in doing all the busy things, she might end up losing the perfect opportunity of encountering the Lord, just as Mary her sister took up the best opportunity for.

And for us who are in this world today, how many of us are even worse than St. Martha? That we forget about the Lord and shunned Him without even any good intentions to welcome Him? Remember that St. Martha believed in Jesus wholeheartedly, and when Lazarus her brother died, she trusted in Jesus and put her faith in Him, that He would have the power to bring her brother back into life.

We live today in a world where daily businesses and occupations with so many various things often interfere in our relationship with God, and not just with God but in fact also in terms of our relationship with one another. We live at a time when faith is often forgotten for the sake of our achievements and obtaining of worldly pleasures. And these things prevent us from finding God in our lives and ultimately can serve as a great obstacle in our attempt to attain salvation in God.

Following the example of St. Martha, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be true disciples of the Lord, and no longer be distracted by our busy activities in life that prevent us from appreciating the Lord who had come personally to save us from certain death in sin. Let us all be truly devoted to God and be focused on Him, that in all of our actions we proclaim the Lord alone and walk faithfully and tenderly in His path.

St. Martha, pray for us all, that our faith may be always strong and that our minds and hearts will be always focused to the Lord, to His laws and precepts. Let us never be separated from Him and be ever devoted. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 11 : 19-27

Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. And she said to Jesus, “If You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever You ask from God, God will give You.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

Alternative reading

Luke 10 : 38-42

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He entered a village, and a woman called Martha welcomed Him to her house. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet to listen to His words.

Martha, meanwhile, was busy with all the serving, and finally she said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the work? Tell her to help me!”

But the Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you worry and are troubled about many things, whereas only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 33 : 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

I will bless the Lord all my days; His praise will be ever on my lips. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the lowly hear and rejoice.

Oh, let us magnify the Lord, together let us glorify His Name! I sought the Lord, and He answered me; from all my fears He delivered me.

They who look to Him are radiant with joy, their faces never clouded with shame. When the poor cry out, the Lord hears and saves them from distress.

The Lord’s angel encamps and patrols to keep safe those who fear Him. Oh, see and taste the goodness of the Lord! Blessed is the one who finds shelter in Him!

Revere the Lord, all you His saints, for those who fear Him do not live in want. The mighty may be hungry and in need, but those who seek the Lord lack nothing.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 : 17th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Martha (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

1 John 4 : 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love.

How did the love of God appear among us? God sent His only Son into this world that we might have life through Him. This is love : not that we loved God but that He first loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, if such has been the love of God, we, too, must love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love comes to its perfection in us.

How may we know that we live in God and He is us? Because God has given us His Spirit. We ourselves have seen and declare that the Father sent His Son to save the world. Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in them and they in God.

We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him.