Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus
“God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him.”
The first reading for today describes the love that connects God to us and how we are connected to God. Simply, Love. Love is one of the three Cardinal Virtues. Saint Paul writes about love in his first letter to the Corinthians. He states that of the three, faith, hope, and love. The greatest is love. (1Cor 13:13) God loves us so much that he sent his Son so that we might have eternal life. The love that Jesus showed to Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was great. It is in that love we too can have life. To know Christ is to know what love is. To be able to share that love through acts of kindness or service is reflecting that love.
“. . . you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
In the Gospel of John, Jesus and Martha have a conversation where Martha makes several faith statements about her belief “in the resurrection on the last day”. The last statement she makes is that she believes “you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” In the Gospels, when Jesus is healing someone, it is through that person’s faith or the faith of others that the person is healed. Martha, a woman who is portrayed as to busy to pray in the Gospel of Luke, is the one who has faith that Jesus is going to heal her brother or raise him from the dead in the Gospel of John. Jesus responds to her with one of the “I Am” statements:
“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.”
This conversation between Martha and Jesus may be considered a covenant dialog. Martha makes her statements of faith and Jesus replies with the promise of eternal life. Martha’s faith and the faith of the Apostles was not perfect. Jesus is the one God has chosen to free people from their sin and to give eternal life. Taking time to hear God’s response, engaging God in our own covenant dialog could possibly be an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and grow deeper in the love God has for us.
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.