Jn 11:19-27 (or Lk 10:38-42)
Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary, after the death of their brother, to comfort them.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day.” But Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection. Whoever believes in me, though he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha then answered, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
About today’s saint, Martha of Bethany, we learn from the pen of the evangelist John that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (Jn 11:5). And today’s gospel reading shows us how Martha was at bottom a great soul and a great believer. This is demonstrated in the three utterances of hers we find in today’s gospel reading.
First she says: “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” In other words, Martha believed that the mere presence of Jesus would have kept death at bay.
Her second statement, “But I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you,” is a kind of affirmation that the power of Jesus knows no limit, that God is ready to act at Jesus’ beck and call. A great compliment indeed.
But her third statement is a magnificent confession of faith, “You are the Christ, the Son of God,” and it is almost word for word identical to Peter’s at Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:16). In other words, Martha’s faith in Jesus was as solid as that of Peter the Rock—with the difference that she was never to betray her Master, as Peter did when the chips were down. No wonder Jesus loved her so much!
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