July 29, 2020 (Wednesday of Week 17 Year II: St Martha)
I am with you...
Dear friends in Christ, today we celebrate the memorial of St Martha. She was the sister of Mary and Lazarus. Her sense of hospitality saw her worrying about how to make a meal for Jesus; and when she was left to it all by herself, she asked Jesus to instruct Mary her sister to help her out. Her faith in the Lord was strong. When Lazarus took ill and was dying, she sent a message to Jesus "The man you love so much is sick and dying." Jesus however only came three days after Lazarus had been buried, but even at that, her faith grew stronger.
In today’s Gospel (John 11:19-27) she said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died..." Many people express faith up to this point, and then it's followed by a sense of disappointment.
For not receiving the needed help in a time of distress, many have abandoned their faith in Christ. Martha however went further, "But even now I know whatever you ask of God, He will grant you." To express faith that Jesus can bring Lazarus back from the dead and that he is the resurrection and the life is something novel, but she did, with no doubt at all. Her faith paid off, Jesus raised Lazarus. Find your own faith too. Focus on the Lord and not your disappointment. He can make all things right and resurrect what is dead in your life.
Today's first reading (Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21) reveals a low turn in the life of the prophet. As a prophet, Jeremiah became lonely because he had to speak the truth at all times. For that reason, a lot of people avoided him including his friends; and those in authority didn't like him either. He said, "I have not lent nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me." Jeremiah took delight in the word of God but found it hard to associate with people, "I did not sit in the company of merry makers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me..." Jeremiah felt unceasing pain of rejection and loneliness. He says it is incurable wound for him. He asks if God is becoming for him a deceptive stream with inconstant waters.
At a point in Jeremiah's ministry he said he felt like not speaking in God's name anymore, because of the difficulties he faced. God however listened and reassured him, "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them...they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you." That is the most assuring word anyone can get. God's abiding presence is the best thing one can hope for.
Let us pray: Lord, we value your abiding presence. Remain with us always and give us the grace to bring your loving presence to others. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.