was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. They lived in the little town of Bethany
near Jerusalem. They were dear friends of Jesus, and he often came to visit
them. In fact, the Gospel tells us: "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary
and Lazarus." It was St. Martha who lovingly served the Lord when he visited
them. One day, she was preparing a meal for Jesus and his disciples. She
realized that the task would be easier if her sister would help. She watched
Mary sitting quietly at Jesus' feet, listening to him. "Lord, tell my sister
to help me," Martha suggested. Jesus was very pleased with Martha's loving
service. However, he wanted her to know that listening to God's Word and
praying is even more important. So he said gently, "Martha, Martha, you are
anxious about many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen
the better part."
St. Martha's great faith in Jesus was seen when her brother Lazarus died.
As soon as she heard that Jesus was coming to Bethany, Martha went to meet
him. She trusted Jesus and felt the freedom to say: "Lord, if you had been
here, my brother would not have died." Then Jesus told her that Lazarus would
rise. He said, "He who believes in me, even if he die, shall live. Do you
believe this?" And Martha answered, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the
Christ, the Son of God, who has come into the world." Jesus worked a great
miracle and raised Lazarus from the dead!
Later, Jesus came again to have supper with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. St.
Martha served them at table as always. This time, though, Martha had a much
more loving attitude. She served with a joyful heart.
Sometimes we don't like to do certain chores. They seem heavy and
unpleasant. At those times, we can ask St. Martha to give us a joyful
attitude. We can ask her to show us that the littlest thing we do becomes
beautiful when we do it for Jesus.