Thursday, July 29, 1999
First Reading: Exodus 40: 16-21, 34-38
Psalms: Psalm 84: 2-6, 8, 11
Gospel Reading: John 11: 19-27 or Luke 10: 38-42
FEAST OF SAINT MARTHA, DISCIPLE OF THE LORD
Though there has been much confusion, Saint Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany and not to be confused with Mary Magdalene, whose feast we recently celebrated. While Mary of Bethany is said to have been a "dreamer" sitting by Our Lord for hours at a time just drinking everything in, Martha was the "doer" and at times resented it such as the account in Luke 10: 38-42 in which Jesus lovingly rebuked her "Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and troubled about many things; and yet only one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the best part and it will not be taken away from her." Sacred Scripture records that Martha and Mary's brother was Lazarus and in John 11: 40, Jesus again tests Martha's faith just before resurrecting Lazarus when He says, "Have I not told thee that if thou believe thou shalt behold the glory of God?" Yet through it all Martha rolled with the punches, so to speak, and was always there to cook for Our Lord and clean for she truly believed. Martha, like Mary Magdalene, was there at the foot of the Cross with the Blessed Mother and Saint John and was privileged to see Jesus after His Resurrection. Some accounts have Martha traveling to Gaul (France) after Pentecost with Lazarus and Mary of Bethany to preach the Gospel though this is not substantiated.