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Tuesday, July 29, 2003

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St. Martha

Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
Psalm 103
John 11:19-27
or Luke 10:38-42

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"Martha welcomed Him." —Luke 10:38

The Lord said to Moses: "You have found favor with Me and you are My intimate friend" (Ex 33:17). "The Lord used to speak to Moses face to face" (Ex 33:11). God even let Moses glimpse all His beauty and revealed to Moses His name, "Lord" (Ex 33:19). Moses was God's intimate friend.

"Jesus loved Martha" (Jn 11:5). When He was tired, He rested at Martha's house and "Martha welcomed Him" (Lk 10:38). Jesus even revealed to Martha His title, "the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25). Martha was Jesus' intimate friend.

Moses and Martha were blessed with a special intimate friendship with the Lord. Can we be close to Him as they were? That's up to us. Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks (see Rv 3:20), saying "Open to Me...My beloved" (Sg 5:2). To be intimate friends means to reveal to the beloved a never-ending increase of delights. The bride and groom in Song of Songs offer delight to each other five times (Sg 1:2; 2:3; 4:10; 5:16; 7:7). Jesus offers to us "the delights at [God's] right hand forever" (Ps 16:11). We in turn offer to Him what He delights in: the love of all our heart, all our mind, all our being, and all our strength (Lk 10:27). As we open ourselves up to Him, He calls us:  "My delight" (Sg 7:7). Of Him, we exclaim: "He is all delight" (Sg 5:16). Of course, Jesus' ultimate offer of intimacy is the Eucharist, in which we receive into our body the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. Receive Him, and be His intimate friend (Jn 15:15).

Prayer:  Father, I will find my delight in You, and you will give me the desires of my heart: intimacy with You (Ps 37:4).

Promise:  "Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness." —Ps 103:8

Praise:  St. Martha so loved Jesus that she served a banquet in His honor (Jn 12:2).

Reference:  (This teaching was written by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002