And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We have two main Gospel stories that focus on Martha and, in both, she is a woman of action. In today’s Scripture, she and her sister Mary are both distraught over their brother Lazarus’s death, but Martha is the one who goes out to meet Jesus when he arrives. In an Ignatian contemplation with this Scripture passage, I imagine that there is a tone of frustration in her voice when she tells Jesus “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” But in the midst of her despair, or possible anger, she still places her trust in completely in Jesus: “even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
Do we have the same kind of faith that Martha shows? Are we able and willing to place our trust, wholly and completely, in Jesus, no matter what we are going through at the time?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.