Wednesday, XVII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Martha, pray for us

Readings: 1st: Jer 15:10.16-21; Ps 58; Gos: Lc 10:38-42; Jn 11:19-27

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Wednesday of the seventeenth week of ordinary time, the church honors one of her great figures, Saint Martha, Virgin.

At the mention of the name Martha, the first thing that comes to mind are, two other names Mary and Lazarus, his sister and brother. They were disciples, as well as very good friends of Christ.

This reminds us of how intimacy with Christ could lead to a very deep, personal and practical relationship with him. That is, a loving relationship that qualifies us for a daily divine encounter and visit from Christ.

The next thing that comes to mind are the two very important encounters and dialogues between Christ and Martha during his visit to Martha’s family.

Each of this encounter and dialogue of Martha with Christ tells us much about her life. The first encounter presents Martha to us as a true model of hospitality and hard work (Lc 10:38-42).

Indeed, Martha may be criticized for paying more attention to house work, than to listening to Christ. However, she was a woman of a deep faith and excellent spirituality.

Her profession of faith in Christ as the “Resurrection and life,” bears a strong testimony to her fine spirituality and understanding of Christ’s mission.

Hence, her response to Christ is one of the best professions of faith in the gospels: “Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world” (Jn 11:19-27).

So, from these two perspectives of the life and encounters of the Martha with Christ, we learn today, that hard work and faith help to better our spirituality.

The story and life of Martha teaches us equally that we can express our faith through the good work we do. That is, through our sincere efforts to make others comfortable.

Finally, she also teaches us that while doing this, we must not neglect our spiritual well-being.

Saint Martha, pray for us!

Peace be with you

Maranatha!

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