When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.” (Jn 11:20-22)
When I was young, I used to think to myself, “If there were every anyone that God might be afraid of, it would be Martha!”
She was rather persistent, after all, in almost a grating kind of way.
The stories of Martha that have come down to us both involve her ripping into Jesus. In one of the Gospels, we hear about her being angry because her sister was not helping her with the hospitality arrangements when Jesus visited their home. She went straight to Jesus, practically demanding that He do something about it. His response was that Mary had chosen the better half and would not be deprived because of it.
In the Gospel according to John, Martha confronted Jesus when He arrived because of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. Mary was at home grieving; but, Martha was a woman on a mission and got up in the Lord’s face.
Jesus assured Martha that her brother would rise. She acknowledged that she knew that Lazarus would participate in the resurrection of the just.
That was not enough for Martha, however. Her grief was palpable. She wanted her brother back.
Jesus, for His part, would go one step further. He would go to the tomb and bring Lazarus back to life.
We are all going to participate in the resurrection of the just, if we do all that we can to follow the Lord and avoid distancing ourselves from Him. But we need to be comforted in the here and now as well.
The lesson in the Gospel is that God does hear us and He responds to our needs. We, like Martha, have to have the confidence to approach him.
FAITH ACTION: Be confident when you go to the Lord in prayer this day. He does hear us!