Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Martha, Martha

Did you ever notice that every time St. Martha appears in the Scriptures, she is on her feet? And her sister, Mary, is on her... (well, never mind).
Just because this was a dimension of Martha's character (and of her vocation as a follower of Jesus, who "came to serve and not to be served") doesn't mean that it is without risks. In Luke's Gospel we see Martha irritated and overworked while her sister sat there by Jesus. Martha tries to get Jesus on the case, but he doesn't take the bait. In John's Gospel, it is Martha who reproaches Jesus (you can almost see her with her hands on her hips) for coming too late to help Lazarus. But as a woman who knows how to get things done, she adds, "But even now, I am sure..." And when Lazarus is raised and a festive dinner is held in Jesus' honor, where do we find Martha?
The fact that it is both Luke and John who give us this same picture of Martha tells us that we are seeing a personality trait of the real woman. On her feet, up at at 'em, getting things done.
Know anybody like that? Wish them a happy feast day!


Anonymous said...

And a happy feast day to a dear lady named Martha who volunteered at Holy Name Cathedral for years and years straightening the hymnals and sweeping the mats. She is now in the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor (or perhaps with Jesus).

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Martha has now chosen the better part. I have a big sister like that.