Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memorial of Martha. She welcomed the Lord Jesus into her home.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 10,38-42

In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha,' he said, 'you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus. By remembering her we understand the power of the Gospel, which leads people to change their hearts and lives. In fact, after having welcomed Jesus into her house, Martha lets herself be "consumed by her service", by the things that she considered truly important. This "service," makes her so stressed that she is not even aware of the Teacher's presence in her house. Martha's concentration on her convictions not only keeps her far from listening to Jesus, but actually drove her to rebuke him because he did not care about what she was doing. In the end she has the attitude of a servant, vindictive like those who do not think what they do is appreciated. She banally feels she is the first actor and she is envious of Mary who is instead at Jesus' feet. She probably thinks it is wrong to do nothing for the guest or that Jesus is like any guest and wants to be served. In reality she is the one who does not understand Jesus. Whenever we focus on ourselves and our affairs, we flee from listening to the Lord. The best part is the part that no one can take away: a bond with Jesus. Mary has understood what counts the most in life, and she sat before the Teacher attentively and listened to his words. Our entire life, our thoughts and our works, should flow from listening to the Gospel. Martha eventually learned the lesson Jesus had taught her, and later, when she welcomed Jesus into her house, she opened her heart to him. When Jesus came to visit the tomb of Lazarus, who had died, she was the first to notice the Teacher and run to him. She had learned to run towards the Teacher who loved her, her sister, and Lazarus like no one else. Today, the Gospel asks us too to not let ourselves be wrapped up in our cares, but to go outside our house and run towards the Teacher who can save us from death.