|Be Not Afraid |
One of the difficulties we may have when our lives become unmanageable is that we find dealing with other people to be difficult and we may even struggle to maintain a relationship with God. Caring people especially can find themselves carrying unnecessary crosses as they become lost in the maze of trying to meet everyone's crazy expectations—including their own!
Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother's death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death.
No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner.
Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an "unrecollected activist." The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: "...o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear.... But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness" (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); "One does not live by bread alone" (Luke 4:4b); "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness..." (Matthew 5:6a).
Martha's great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother's death. "Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, 'Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world'" (John 11:25-27).
"Encouraged by so great a cloud of witnesses, we may run as victors in the race before us and win with them the imperishable crown of glory through Christ our Lord" (Roman Missal, Preface of Saints I).
Daily Prayer - 2015-07-29
To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
At this instant, as I arrive here, God is present waiting for me.
God always arrives before me, desiring to connect with me
even more than my most intimate friend.
I take a moment and greet my loving God.
Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely.
Instil in my heart a desire
To know and love you more each day.
In the presence of my loving Creator,
I look honestly at my feelings over the last day,
the highs, the lows and the level ground.
Can I see where the Lord has been present?
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint Martha
As Moses came down from Mount Sinai
with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,
he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant
while he conversed with the LORD.
When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses
and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become,
they were afraid to come near him.
Only after Moses called to them did Aaron
and all the rulers of the community come back to him.
Moses then spoke to them.
Later on, all the children of Israel came up to him,
and he enjoined on them all that the LORD
had told him on Mount Sinai.
When he finished speaking with them,
he put a veil over his face.
Whenever Moses entered the presence of the LORD to converse with him,
he removed the veil until he came out again.
On coming out, he would tell the children of Israel
all that had been commanded.
Then the children of Israel would see
that the skin of Moses' face was radiant;
so he would again put the veil over his face
until he went in to converse with the LORD.
R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he!
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise."
Martha said to him,
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."
Jesus entered a village - - -
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
"Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply,
"Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- Martha's faith in Jesus is absolute. She believes that her brother Lazarus will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. She acknowledges Jesus as 'the Messiah, the Son of God'.
- Faith in the resurrection helps us to live with an attitude of hope, sharing in the joy of the victory of the risen Christ over sin and death. It is because of the resurrection that Christ is with me on all of my journeys through life. Can I recognise his presence and open my heart to encounter him more fully?
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold?
Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me,
I turn and share my feelings with him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Saint Martha (Memorial)
You are the Christ, the Son of God. (John 11:27)
Martha, on this your feast day, we want to honor you. So often you are remembered as being so overwhelmed with housework and so upset with your sister that you lost your cool and yelled at the Lord (Luke 10:38-42). But today, we want to honor you for the witness of your deep faith.
How much you must have loved the Lord! Even as you were grieving the death of your brother, Lazarus, you still were able to make one of Scripture's greatest confessions of faith: "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world" (John 11:27). What courage that must have taken! Lazarus had been dead four days, and his body had begun to decay, but still you believed. Despite all the evidence that your eyes, ears, and nose gave, you rose up in faith to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Whatever moments of weakness you may have had, Martha, you were still a firm believer!
Martha, we want to honor you today because you are proof that even people with less than shining moments are still capable of great faith. You teach us not to downplay the faith and grace that God has given to us. You urge us never to impose limits on ourselves or to think that we will never have the faith of great saints like Peter, Mary, or yourself.
Thank you, Martha, for your witness! You show us that we can exercise hopeful, even audacious, faith. You show us that even a crisis, like the death of a loved one, is a divine opportunity to bring into focus what we truly believe. And you show us that our faith can grow just as much in ordinary times and opportunities—just as yours did when Jesus visited your home and invited you to a deeper trust in him.
Martha, you teach us that nothing is impossible for those who believe. Pray for us today, that we will follow your lead and let Jesus surprise us with a revelation of his goodness.
"Yes, Lord, I believe in you and in your promises. I will live for you today. Give me the grace to walk in the light and to know many bright, shining moments of faith today."
Psalm 99:5-7, 9
The last part of the 5minutos today was the last interview question to Martha:
"...Interviewer: 'Have you now understood which is the "only thing necessary"?
-Martha: "It is not discovered through a definition. But standing busting the slavery of things, revealing itself against the tyranny of the clock, putting oneself to the listening. It is necessary to reject the blackmail of the urgent, to enter into the freedom of the only thing necessary.
-Interviewer: "And what is the better part?"
-Martha: "That what reclaims the profoundness of our being!"
In today's first Holy reading, our Lord speaks to Moses and the face of Moses becomes radiant, scary even to the point that he had to put a veil over his face. The veil is torn and the light shines through though, when our Lord is crucified and dies on the mount. No more will we have to be afraid to see the light, the truth. In comes the story of me and you with our Lord. Come to the light. Do not be afraid. Come to Him with anything and everything...afterall...it is all His...you.
The Psalms pray on "Extol the LORD, our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for holy is the LORD, our God." and "Moses and Aaron were among his priests, and Samuel, among those who called upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them." Holy is the Lord. Last night the RCIA class I'm helping at was asked who do you know that you consider holy? One man, a returning Catholic, said "Fr. Joseph" (our parish priest). The other student, (the rest of the class LOL), a man brought up sort of Muslim, said as he pointed "you". I said "I was afraid you'd say that, because now it's going to get to my head and I will lose the holiness". It was a joke, but this ego thing can get the best of you. Holy is humility all things contrary to pride. Holy is to be set apart, like the people of God have always been. Set apart for what? For Him. What is holiness and do you want it in your life? What does it mean to honor someone that was holy like we honor St. Martha today? These are questions you must venture now and seek and be for yourself, for this class is bringing you to the answer.
In comes the Lord our God. Oh how He loves us. Yet it is hard to believe when things didn't work out the way we thought they should've been. Let me demonstrate: Moses killed some one. For whatever the reason he took the life of another. And this man gave us the 10 commandments from God? You tell me God doesn't love us and I'll tell you the truth. Nowadays, killing comes easier, by our lies, by the slander of our mouths, I'm pretty disgusted, especially if I find myself nearing these temptations or sharing in them. It is disgusting because they cause pain. Martha was in pain, for her brother had died. "If Jesus would've been there it wouldn't have happened", and so is the train of thought of a pagan, or an atheist, "if god were really there none of this bad stuff would happen". Very childish to say the least. God was there, God Is there, and God will be there. If there were no darkness you would not see the light. If life wasn't a rainbow of colors everything would be the same color, this means you would be blind or want to be blind. Yesterday I heard of the engrossing atrocities that vicious terrorist groups are doing with other people, the sex trafficking, the killings, the lies, the deception. They aim to recruit by being your friend. Can we be friends? Yes. Should we follow their ways? No. One young girl fell into their religion, to the point that she writes that she was sitting in her room and saw a crucifix and felt like vomitting. To me, this reminded me of a possessed person that is revolted or repulsed by a crucifix. To be anti-life of another is to be anti-Christ. Because not only is Jesus the light, He is the life. He told Martha "There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." When I introduced the class by Dr. Brant Pitre "Spiritual Theology" to our parish, we had about 20 show up for the first class and then they never came back. 3 or 4 were faithful and it taught "the one thing necessary"...and it was all about our prayer life and our holiness. Many are called, few follow through. Stay with me. We in general, don't like to pray. It is awkward, don't really know how, and in actuality, most times it is just plain hard. We don't want to see Moses, so we don't pray or go to church. So the people run from the truth and tell others why and take others with them away from the truth. I want you to look into the light. Look into it today. Look into the sun, just look at the Son of God in a picture, don't say anything just look and let the hearts speak. This is not vocal prayer, this is not meditative prayer...this is contemplating God! A prayer in of itself. Contemplate and be lost in His Sacred heart that continues to pump blood this very day. It is for you, you are alive...now believe
"....anyone who lives and believes in me will never die."