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Friday, July 29, 2005

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St. Martha

Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37
Psalm 81
John 11:19-27
or Luke 10:38-42

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love is detail-oriented

"Martha...was busy with all the details of hospitality." —Luke 10:40

St. Martha "welcomed" Jesus "to her home" on several occasions (Lk 10:38; Jn 12:2). She served a banquet in Jesus' honor (Jn 12:2). In the first century, throwing a banquet probably involved running out to the pasture and catching a frolicking sheep, dragging it home, slaughtering and butchering it, getting wood for a fire, cooking the meat in searing heat in the midst of an already arid climate, baking numerous loaves of bread from scratch, and many other details of preparing the house and the table which involved great physical toil. Martha loved Jesus so much that she spared no detail for the privilege of honoring Him.

With what details is the Lord asking you to be busy in your service of Him? (Lk 10:40) Is He asking you to have more children, attend Mass and read Scripture daily, increase your almsgiving, take on a larger role in ministry, home-school your children, be involved in pro-life activities, join or start a small Christian community, devote an hour to weekly eucharistic adoration, or care for an aged parent? Sacrifice involves attention to many details. There are no shortcuts on the way of the cross.

We can respond in one of two ways. We can "say, 'What a burden!' " and "scorn" this idea of detailed sacrifice (Mal 1:13). Conversely, we can respond in love as did Martha. Love is never satisfied, but always seeks more detailed ways to express itself to the beloved. Love the Lord in every detail of your life (Lk 10:27).

Prayer:  Father, I will constantly seek to love You more and more.

Promise:  "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life." —Jn 11:25-26

Praise:  St. Martha used her gifts of faith and hospitality to give a banquet for Jesus (Jn 12:2).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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