FEAST OF ST. MARTHA
(SISTER OF MARY & LAZARUS)
1 John 4:7-16, Psalm 34:1-6, 8-10, John 11:19-27
1 John 4:7-16
The origin of love is God Himself. We are made in His image and likeness and so we partake in His Love which is made visible in His beloved Son. To love is to have knowledge of the Creator who is Love that became tangible when He became Incarnate and lived among us. Grafted on to Jesus in baptism we receive divine life which animated by His Holy Spirit and we taken up in to the life of the Trinity.
We can do nothing to merit the love that God has for His creatures. When we sinned He could easily have wiped us off the face of the earth and begun over again or not at all. He does not need us for He is complete in Himself. But He is love and He loves us with a love as ferociously protective and as tender as any loving parent for his child.
He wants to save us at all costs even at the cost of the life of His only Son whom He sent into the world to take on our miserable, weak, sin filled human condition upon Himself, absorbing in Himself the filth of our sins and the punishments that they deserve in accordance with divine justice. He paid the price that would free us from the slavery of sin and its consequence, eternal punishment.
We must never forget that what binds us one to the other is the love of Christ and just as He loves us, we in turn must love each other. The only proof which indicates that we love God is the love we have for each other. If we do not love the man,woman and child that we can see we dare not say we love God whom we cannot see. It is precisely because of our love fore each other that we are perfected in the love of God.
It is only because Jesus sent His own Spirit to make His home in us do we know beyond every shadow of a doubt that God abides in us and we in Him. There is only one thing to remember if we are to be happy here on earth and eternally happy in heaven. " 16 We have known the love of God and have believed in it. God is love. The one who lives in love, lives in God and God in him."
Psalm 34:1-6, 8-10
Let’s magnify the Lord together,
Come join me as we glorify His Name,
In distress I called to Him to save me,
He came in haste and took away my shame.
Let’s celebrate His never ending mercy,
We’ll clap and sing aloud in grateful praise,
Reflecting the radiance of His beauty
Our joyful hearts will stream abundant grace.
He commands His angels to surround us,
They guard us so we never need know fear,
God stoops low so we can taste His goodness,
He shelters in His heart those He holds dear.
Seek the Lord and You will lack for nothing,
He alone can satisfy your soul,
He is the Living Bread that comes from heaven,
To sanctify, to nourish and make whole.
If you desire life in all its fullness,
Seal your lips from falsehood and deceit,
Turn away from every form of evil,
Take refuge in His love and pursue peace.
Myra D’Souza / 27th June 2012
Poor, much maligned Martha, who will always be remembered as the sister who was distracted by the mundane,grumbled and made her annoyance known by her querulous complaint to the Lord. Of course she who too longed to sit at His feet but was left to do all the work that is involved in being hospitable hostess to a well loved, important Guest and His friends.
Today however when the Church celebrates her feast, let us bear in mind that the words of Jesus found a home in her heart. She took His gentle rebuke to her in the right spirit - a spirit of humility. She loved Jesus just as much as Mary and Lazarus did and she understood who Jesus was as we see from the Gospel reading of today.
Their only brother Lazarus is dying, the sisters send word to Jesus to come and He takes 3 days to arrive in the meantime their beloved brother dies. When word was brought to them that Jesus was coming it was Martha and not Mary who went to meet Hi. Her first words to Him are a sad, "IF ONLY." These two words are often the plague of our own lives as well. But she did believe that despite the fact that her brother was dead that Jesus could restore him to life again.
It is here that Jesus speaks clearly to us who He is, "26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” And we have Martha's response which vindicates her forever from her first grumbling and murmuring recorded in the Gospel Every Christian now echoes her words, "27 ..........“Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”