Today, the church celebrates the feast of Martha, Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. They are from Bethany. If it was before, the feast day of Saint Martha comes a week after that of Mary Magdalene because of the erroneous tradition or interpretation that Mary Magdalene is the sister of Lazarus.
Some also said that Mary Magdalene is the woman that wiped the feet of Jesus and is also a prostitute. These are erroneous.
After due study and interpretation of the scripture, the church corrects this. Mary Magdalene is different from the woman caught in adultery in John 8, who has no name. Hence She is not the person that wiped the feet of Jesus.
According to the gospel of John, Mary, the sister of Lazarus whom we celebrate her feast today, is the woman that wiped the feet of Jesus because the anointing happened in Bethany.
The person who anointed the feet of Jesus is also from Bethany and not Magdala. Mary, sister of Lazarus, is from Bethany. It is only John who mentioned that She is the one (John 12:1-7).
What is so clear about this family is their closeness and love for Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus visited them, and Mary stayed at the feet of Jesus listening to Him.
Also, when Lazarus died, they invited Jesus, and He came and raised Lazarus from the dead ((John 11:38-44). Before Jesus goes into agony, He also visits them. It is then during this visit that Mary anointed the feet of Jesus, according to John (John 12:1-7).
From all these facts, we can delineate that this family teaches us what it means to believe in Jesus.
If we truly believe in Jesus and love Him, we will do everything possible to remain close to Him and make Him part of our daily lives.
The family always invites Jesus. Hence, we shall always do so both in good and in bad times.
Friendship With Jesus.
What singles this family out today is their friendship with Jesus Christ. They always involve him and invite Him to be part of their family.
Their friendship with Jesus shows how they love and believe in Him. Hence, this family teaches us to make Jesus part of our family.
Therefore, let us invite Jesus always during your prayers, during your family decisions and even during family crises. Remember that when Lazarus died, this family invited Jesus.
Hence, when you experience a crisis in your family, always invite the Lord into the problem to bring peace and save the family from challenges.
Any family that does this will always live in peace. Make Jesus part of your home. When you marry, build your family first on a spiritual foundation.
If we truly believe in Jesus, we shall make Him our friend, brother, and supreme head of the family. We will not get tired of praying. We will not prefer to watch tv shows the whole night and forget to have a single time with the Lord. Hence, we shall build our homes around such a spiritual communion with Jesus Christ.
Lazarus, Martha and her sister Mary are devoted disciples of Jesus. In Luke 10:39, we see Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to Him, and Martha was busy trying to prepare food for Him. It is a sign of hospitality and love.
If we truly believe in Jesus, we shall always long to love Him and listen to His word, as this family does. If we truly have faith in Jesus, we will always come close to Him and make Him our true friend. Our life will be everything for the Lord.
The gospel accounts about Martha project her as the most active. In Luke 10, she was busy, and in today’s gospel, immediately she heard that Jesus was coming, she didn’t wait for Him to come, she had to run out and meet the Lord.
We can see in her that eagerness, enthusiasm and zeal for the Lord. These qualities are also marks of those who truly have faith in God. They are always zealous. We can see this spirit in the life of St. Paul.
Martha, knowing that Jesus is coming, has to run out and meet the Lord. She didn’t wait for the Lord to come to her first. A sign of love and humility.
Therefore, If we truly believe in Jesus we have to come out of our comfort zone and seek Him with all our hearts. He is already there for us. This is a mark of a true disciple.
We are the ones who are going to decide to go out to Him. If we truly believe in Him, we will have a deep hunger for His presence.
Seeking the Presence of God.
When Martha met Jesus today, she didn’t complain nor worry about Jesus’ absence, but she uttered a statement of someone who undoubtedly believes in the power of God’s presence.
Martha said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died but I know that even now, whatever you ask of God, He will grant you”.
We see in this statement, someone who believed that the presence of Jesus can do the impossible. Do we believe that Jesus can do the impossible? Do you believe He can still answer your prayers? If you do, why then do you still worry?
How many times do we take time to seek the presence of God? When was the last time you visited the Blessed Sacrament? When was the last time we truly invited Jesus into our hearts, into our lives, into our situations and challenges?
If we truly believe in Him, we will always need His presence. We will not be afraid of anything if we believe He is with us. Seeking the presence of God is what should always occupy our hearts. If we truly believe in Jesus, this should not be our burden.
We Must Accept His Words.
In today’s gospel, when Jesus affirms that He is the resurrection and life and whoever believes in Him shall not die.
One thing with this statement is that we know that everyone must die, yet when Jesus asks Martha do you believe in this? She exclaims in affirmation “Yes Lord “.
She does not doubt what Jesus says. For Martha, whatever Jesus says is true and must be obeyed. Martha believes because she knows that every word that Jesus utters is true. Despite that Jesus is referring to eternal life here.
Hence, If we truly believe in Jesus, we will not doubt a single of His statements. We will live according to His words without shifting to left or right.
Hence, what we have today are those who confess Jesus but our deeds seem to be far away from what we profess and confess.
Sometimes, when Jesus says; do this, we say no and do what we want. If we truly believe in Jesus we will accept his words as true and eternal.
In today’s gospel, Jesus affirms to Martha that He is the resurrection and the life. This is a pointer that Jesus is the Lord of both the physical and spiritual. When He talks of life, He transcends beyond the physical and the spiritual life.
Any life lost by sin can only be restored through Jesus. Faith in Jesus is the secret of eternal life. If we truly believe in Him, we should know that nothing is beyond His power.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to have strong faith in Jesus Christ. May He guide us always Amen.