July 29, 2017


July 29, 2017:  St. Martha

See 10 connections with today?
Legend below


For the gospels
Pope Francis
Children receive nourishment, care, and the spiritual gift of knowing they're loved.  Through their name, language, looks, and smiles, they learn relationships touch our soul, seek freedom, accept differences, and show respect.  Parents' love contains a spark of God’s love!  Children have the right to receive love from a mother and father, necessary for their development.  Each spouse contributes differently to the child's upbringing.  Respecting children's dignity means affirming their need and right to have a mother and father.  We speak not only of each parent's individual love but also of their mutual love, source of life and foundation of family.  Husband and wife cooperate with the Creator's love and are in a sense his interpreters, showing their children God's maternal and paternal face, teaching reciprocity, respect for differences, and give and take.  If one parent is lacking, it's important to compensate for the loss for the sake of the child.
The sense of being orphaned is deep.  As desirable as it is for women to study, work, develop their skills, and have personal goals, children need a mother’s presence, especially in their first months.  Weakening her presence and its qualities poses a grave risk.  Feminism mustn't demand uniformity or negate motherhood; women's grandeur includes both their human dignity and also their feminine genius, essential to society.  Their specifically feminine abilities, particularly motherhood, also grant duties, because womanhood entails a specific mission, one society needs to protect and preserve for the good of all. (V:172-73)
    St. Martha, from
    the Isabella Breviary
  • Ex 24:3-8  The people answered Moses, "We'll do everything the Lord told us."  He built an altar, had sacrifice offered, splashed and sprinkled the blood, and read the book of the covenant.
  • Ps 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15  "Offer to God a sacrifice of praise."  "Fulfill your vows.  Call on me; I'll rescue you and you'll glorify me."
  • Jn 11:19-27  When Martha heard Jesus was coming, she went to meet him.  Martha / Jesus:  “Lord, if you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died.  But I know God will give you whatever you ask.” / “He'll rise.” / “Yes, in the resurrection.” / “I am the resurrection; whoever believes in me will live, and anyone who believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” / “Yes, Lord.  I believe you're the Christ, the one who is coming into the world.”
  • Lk 10:38-42  Jesus entered a village where Martha welcomed him.  Her sister Mary sat at his feet listening to him.  Martha / Jesus:  “Lord, don't you care that my sister left me by myself to serve?  Tell her to help.” / “Martha, you're anxious about many things, but only one is needed.  Mary has chosen the better part and it won't be taken from her.”
  • Creighton:  Martha didn't shy away from voicing her concerns to Jesus.  Her questions reveal a depth to their relationship; she knows he can handle it.  Through her honesty Jesus invites Martha to deeper faith; he hears her, honors her questions, and leads her to healing and grace.  “Do you believe your brother will rise?”  “You're worried about many things.  Only one is needed.”  How honest am I with Jesus?  Do I trust our relationship enough to be candid?  What would it feel like to tell him, “If you'd been here...” or “Don't you care about…”?  Do I stay close enough to hear him respond?  Do I “show up then shut up”?   Do I balance give and take?  May we be honest with Jesus in prayer, then stick around long enough to hear him.
    Jesus at the house of
    Mary and Martha/ Copping
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Blood replacement":  We've made a covenant with God, a matter of life and death, but have broken it by our sins.  But Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, taking on our consequences for our breaking the covenant, freeing us from destruction.  It's always fitting to praise the blood of Jesus, but July has been marked as a special month to do so.  Praise the blood of Jesus by receiving it in the Eucharist, applying it through Reconciliation, reading about it in Scripture, and praying and speaking about it....
  • Passionist:  Moses bound the people to God by their promise to keep the Covenant and by offering and sprinkling blood.  The blood made the covenant more binding than mere verbal agreement.  Moses let the people know the Covenant is a serious matter.  Baptism and Confirmation remind us of that today.  In the Gospel, Martha professes faith “in the resurrection on the last day” and that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of God, the one who coming into the world”; she believes Jesus will raise her brother.  Jesus responds with an “I AM” statement:  “I am the resurrection; all who believe in me, even if they die, will live, and all who live and believe in me will never die.”  This conversation is like a covenant dialog:  Martha makes statements of faith, and Jesus replies with the promise of life.  Martha and the apostles didn't fully understand Jesus' message, nor do we; we profess our faith as well as we can. May we engage God in covenant dialog, then listen, and so deepen our faith and relationship with God.
  • Prayers for the month of Jesus' Precious Blood, and why are we devoted to body parts?  (I would have posted this earlier if I'd seen it.)
  • DailyScripture.net:  "I know he'll rise again":  The loss of a loved one produces grief and anguish.  When Martha heard Jesus was coming to pay his respects, she immediately went out to meet him.  She believed in resurrection; her loss didn't diminish her hope.  She even chides Jesus for not coming soon enough to save Lazarus.  Jesus gave her belief a new meaning:  he came to restore life to all who believe in him.  The life he offers is from God himself....
  • Universalis:  Martha, sister of Mary of Bethany and Lazarus.  Lazarus deserves our sympathy for being brought back to life by Jesus so as to have to die again.  Think of him when preparing to make spectacular acts of charity on behalf of people who may not appreciate it.
Dress legend
  • 'Words' tie:  Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  Moses built an altar at the foot of the mountain (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Gather those who made a covenant with me by sacrifice (psalm); Moses sent men to offer sacrifice... (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  ...and put the blood in bowls, splashed it on the altar, and sprinkled it on the people (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  'Call' on me in time of distress (psalm)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Martha's doing the serving (gospel)
  • 'Feet' pin:  Mary sat at the Lord's feet (gospel)
  • 'Question mark' tie pin:  Jesus' to Martha, Martha's to Jesus (gospels)
  • White shirt:  Color of St. Martha's memorial

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