Today we celebrate St. Martha. We know all about her as the practical woman doing the things that needed to be done – like cooking and serving the guests. But there is much more that we can learn from Martha. There was a depth to her that we don’t hear in Luke’s account of her.
In John’s passage Lazarus had died and Jesus wasn’t there to keep him from dying. When Martha heard that Jesus was on the way, she ran to meet him. Her conversation with Jesus that day revealed her understanding of the depth of the meaning of life and death and resurrection. She knew that Jesus could bring someone back to life after the person had died. She may have been present at one of those times. But she knew more. She had come to realize that there would be new life after a person’s time here on earth.
But there was even more. Martha had come to believe that Jesus was more than a holy man of God who could work miracles. She was able to profess her belief in Jesus as the Messiah. She was able to say, “I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
We so often judge Martha only on the Luken story. Her sister, Mary, had chosen the better part – sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to his words. But John’s passage tells us so much more. Here is what these two readings teach me. It is so easy to judge a person by one perception of her/him. There is so much more that can be revealed if we just give the person a chance. After all each person has been created in the image of our loving God. So there is much good in that person whether or not we agree with the way they live their life, their political views, their race, or anything else that may be “different”. Recently I read this prayer on Facebook.
Give me eyes that see the best in people
A heart that forgives the worst
A mind that forgets the bad
And a soul that never loses faith.