Feast of Saint Martha
Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37
Matthew 13: 54-58
Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Martha, a friend of Jesus along with her family, Mary and Lazarus. The story of Martha and the warm reception of Jesus in her home provide us with a clear contrast to the picture we see in today’s gospel. Jesus finds himself in his home town surrounded by people who knew him well and yet did not place their full faith in Him. "And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith."
Martha’s hospitality and the poor reception Jesus received in his own home town are reminders of how we must "create space" for each other and Jesus in our lives. Hospitality, at its heart, is the creation of a welcoming space where we feel secure and able to express what is in our hearts. This space creates a fertile ground for us to experience and grow in our faith.
Our Passionist Family is known for the virtue of hospitality. Like St. Martha, we create a welcoming space for others so their faith in Jesus can grow. We create this space through welcoming actions (like Martha) and contemplation (like Martha’s sister Mary). We do this in a world where it would seem "hospitality" often is being driven away by technology and self-centeredness.
Hospitality is the virtue up for discussion on this Feast of St. Martha and in today’s gospel message. As we reflect on this virtue, let us keep in mind a couple of questions.
What am I doing today to create a space where the faith of those I know the best can grow? How am I creating a space for Jesus where he will "work mighty deeds" in my own life in response to my faith in Him?
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.