Gospel: 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.“
Today’s Gospel text is one which we can easily relate with. It resonates well with our experiences especially when we are in great pain or in deep sorrow. When something bad happens or when a tragedy befalls us, like Marta we are often led to say, “Lord, if you had been here… this would not have happened.“ When she said that, Marta was not being resentful and was putting the blame on the Lord for Lazarus’ death. Nor was she trying to make Jesus feel guilty for his apparent insensitivity or lack of concern. It actually expresses her faith and trust in Jesus and his power over death. That is why later on she was able to proclaim, “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God…“
Do we have a faith as strong as Martha’s so that even amidst tragedy or in suffering we can still hold on to God, putting our trust in Him?
Martha’s friendship with Jesus has brought about growth in her faith. Hospitably welcoming him and his disciples into her home and providing some of their needs as they went about ministering to people helped her come to know the Lord better. Welcoming others into our homes and into our lives will likewise enable us to see Jesus better and grow in our faith and relationship with Him.