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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

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St. Denis & Companions
St. John Leonardi

Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 130
Luke 10:38-42

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corrected but canonized

"Martha, Martha..." —Luke 10:41

St. Martha sometimes gets bad press in homilies, being portrayed as the workaholic worrywart. In religious circles, the Christian who spends a lot of time in service might be called a Martha. These portrayals are accurate but incomplete.

St. Martha's active nature became a blessing for her when, on the occasion of Jesus' arrival at Bethany after the death of her brother Lazarus, she rushed out to meet Him while her sister Mary sat at home (Jn 11:20). Because "she went to meet Him" (Jn 11:20), she received "the better portion" (Lk 10:42) and was blessed to listen to Jesus' words (cf Lk 10:39). She had a front-row seat to these earth-shaking words of Jesus:

  • "Your brother will rise again" (Jn 11:23).
  • "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (Jn 11:25).
  • "Whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die" (Jn 11:26).

Maybe you are a Martha, and have had numerous occasions when Jesus had to say to you "Tim, Tim" or "Joan, Joan" or whatever your name happens to be. Remember that although Martha was corrected, she was also canonized as a saint. "Jesus loved Martha...very much" (Jn 11:5), and He loves you very much. Like Martha and Mary, choose the better portion, pour out your life for Jesus, and listen to His words.

Prayer:  "Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!" (Ps 130:1)

Promise:  "Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it." —Lk 10:42

Praise:  St. John worked so selflessly with diseased influenza patients that he eventually died of the same disease (see Jn 15:13).

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007

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