Homilete for Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Memorial of St. Martha

(John 11:19-27)

In the Gospel of John, Martha seems to be the same kind of go-getter that we see in the Gospel of Luke. We remember how she chides Jesus there for allowing her sister to sit at his feet while she busies herself with the chores of entertaining. Here she starts on the same critical tone as she reminds Jesus that Lazarus would not have died if he had been there. Then she expresses a degree of faith in Jesus by saying that God would give him anything that he asks. Jesus helps her to see that he is more than a healer and holy man. He is “...the resurrection and the life.” Of course, Jesus eventually raises Lazarus from the dead.

We may ask why Martha is considered a saint. Is it just because she expresses belief in Jesus? No, there is more to it than that. Saints are both intercessors and models. Martha petitions the Lord on behalf of her brother as a faith-filled intercessor. In doing so, she shows us how to pray. We do not need half-dollar words to pray, but we have to see Jesus as a friend who can help us. Let us refer to him first in any situation of distress and then figure out what we might do to alleviate the need.