Tuesday, July 29, 2008

St. Martha

"Martha was born of noble and wealthy parents, but she is still more illustrious for the hospitality she gave to Christ our Lord. After His Ascension into heaven, she was seized by the Jews, together with her brother and sister, Marcella her handmaid, and Maximin, one of the seventy two disciples of our Lord, who had baptized the whole family, and many other Christians. They were put on board a ship without sails or oars, and left helpless on the open sea, exposed to certain shipwreck. But God guided the ship, and they all arrived safely at Marseilles.
This miracle, together with their preaching, brought the people of Marseilles, of Aix, and of the neighborhood to believe in Christ. Lazarus was made Bishop of Marseilles and Maximin of Aix. Magdalen, who was accustomed to devote herself to prayer and to sit at our Lord's feet, in order to enjoy the better part which she had chosen, that is, contemplation of the joys of heaven, retired into a deserted cave on a very high mountain. There she lived for thirty years, separated from all human intercourse; and every day she was carried to heaven by the angels to hear their songs of praise.

But Martha, after having won the love and admiration of the people of Marseilles by the sanctity of her life and her wonderful charity, withdrew in the company of several virtuous women to a spot remote from men, where she lived for a long time, greatly renowned for her piety and prudence. She foretold her death long before it occurred; and at length, famous for miracles, she passed to our Lord on the fourth of the Kalends of August. Her body which lies at Tarascon is held in great veneration."

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

"He Knows My Name" blogspot
expresses this about St. Martha:

"She is mentioned three times in the Bible, but most people focus on only one - when Jesus was visiting and she wanted His help in getting her sister Mary off the floor to help do the dishes. Our gracious Lord reminded her that it was a good thing to sit awhile and listen, after all they may not get that opportunity again. It doesn't tell us how she responded to that, but if you read further about her I think you'll agree that she would have taken that to heart and learnt from it. In fact, she seemed a very focused woman. She did not appear to be an emotional personality like her sister, but rather seeing things in black and white. She saw there was work to do and set about doing it believing it to be necessary at that time, though Christ teaches her otherwise. Also, she wasn't complaining about working, just that Mary also had chores to do.

Further on, Lazarus has died. Mary is a mess. When Jesus arrives, days after they had sent word to Him, Martha rebukes Him. "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died." She doesn't hold back, BUT, can you see what else she is saying? She BELIEVES, without a doubt,that Christ has the power to heal her brother. No faltering faith for Martha. She is convinced (remember, I said she sees everything in black and white?).
Now, if that faith statement doesn't grab you the next one must!
She continues, without taking a breath, "BUT EVEN NOW, I KNOW THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK OF GOD, GOD WILL GIVE YOU." What a woman of faith in her Lord!!
She continues on declaring Him to be "...the Christ, the Son of God..."!"