EXODUS 40:16-21,34-38; PSALM 84; JOHN 11:19-27
Today the Church celebrates the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Before now only Martha was celebrated on this day. But in recent studies and times, as attested by the current Roman Martyrology, the identity of Mary the sister of Martha has been resolved as different from Mary – the Magdalene to whom Christ appeared after his resurrection. It was based on this development that the Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis, decreed that 29 July should be designated in the General Roman Calendar as the Memorial of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus.
Martha, Mary and Lazarus were described in the Gospels of Luke 10:38-42 and John 11:19-27. They lived in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. Martha and Mary witnessed Jesus resurrecting their brother, Lazarus. Jesus experienced the family spirit and friendship of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and for this reason the Gospel of John states that he loved them. Martha – Patron saint of cooks, generously offered Jesus hospitality, Mary listened attentively to his words and Lazarus’ restoration simply exemplified the power of Jesus over death.
More so, the care and concern of Martha and Mary over Lazarus’ death reminds us that we must continue to pray in faith and trust for our departed brethren. Even though we cannot restore them back to physical life we can help them gain eternal life. Again, Martha and Mary’s encounter with Jesus reminds us of the importance of balancing service with worship. Finally, like Martha and Mary we are called to trust in the Lord even when all hope seems lost.
LET US PRAY
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the example of your Saints may spur us on to a better life, so that we, who celebrate the memory of Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus, may also imitate without ceasing their deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen