Memorial of St. Martha

Preaching by Sr. Theresa Fox, OP

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.

Dear God,
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.

Posted in Weekly Word

11 responses to “Memorial of St. Martha

  1. Sr. Theresa,
    Thanks for sharing your insight into Martha’s story. It confuses me almost as much as the prodigal son.
    I also appreciate the prayer, so simple, yet so powerful.

  2. Thanks so much for your reflection Theresa.

    Hope you are doing OK — what a time we are all living through — but so many are much worse off than us — hopefully the politicians will pass legislation to give people what they so desperately need. Martha would not hold her tongue to get them to do the right thing.

  3. Theresa, thanks for preaching on Martha. I feel like a Martha every time I make my bread. And Mary is my
    special friend also! Can’t help being reminded of the fact that action and contemplation work together.

  4. Thank you, Teresa. A lot of genuine faith was in St. Martha. No wonder Jesus loved her and her sister so very much. I liked the way you pointed to the need to look for good deeper into each person ~ the little poem expressed that so well.

  5. I see can God unite us in Prayer even from east to west. That was my meditation this morning — that we hardly ever hear of her belief in the Resurrection and her proclamation that Jesus IS the Christ. Thanks for sharing!

    I hope your family is doing well. I Remember them in prayer.
    Keep Faith Alive!
    Queen Esther

  6. Dear Sr. Theresa,
    I am blessed to have the name Martha with my birthday arriving tomorrow, July 30th!
    I am so blessed to be an Associate Candidate with the Niskayuna, New York Dominican Sisters, from whom I have gained so much grace!
    I love your insights and teaching about St. Martha and had not heard them before.
    God bless you!

  7. Dear Theresa,

    Thank you for “the rest of the story.” Reminds me of the old Paul Harvey show where he would present a story we thought we knew and then he’d give “the rest of the story.” Often, it changed our/my perspective completely.

    I have always liked Martha – thanks for a more complete picture of the woman she was.


  8. Beautiful, Theresa,…..
    Thank you so much for this. It’s .important to remember Martha as a heroine for all who try to live a busy, balanced, life of action and deep prayer.
    Gratias, Kay

  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflection, Theresa! I agree heartily with you. (I’ve been on this track for years… my Mom’s name was Martha.)


    Pat Mood, OP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.