I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD
(A biblical refection on THE FEAST DAY OF ST. MARTHA – WEDNESDAY, July 29 2015)
Gospel Reading: John 11:19-27 (Alternate: Luke 10:38-42)
First Reading: Exodus 34:29-35; Psalms: Psalm 99:5-7,9
The Scripture Text
…, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that He will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.” (John 11:19-27 RSV)
How good it is to put our trust in God’s faithfulness, even as we endure difficult periods of “waiting on the Lord.” In Martha, scripture gives us the witness of one who learned this lesson. We first see her confronting Jesus about her sister Mary’s apparent laziness as Mary sat quietly at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:38-42). At that time, Jesus told her that Mary’s posture of quiet listening was the “better portion.” Then, some time later, after Jesus’ firm but gentle rebuke began to sink in, we see Martha having to wait patiently as she watched her brother Lazarus die without any sign of Jesus’ coming to heal or at least comfort him.
With Lazarus dead and Jesus nowhere in sight, Martha didn’t complain. It may have been difficult, but she put her faith in Him. When Jesus finally did arrive, she didn’t upbraid Him. Instead, she confessed His ability “even now” to raise her brother. As a consequence, Martha’s faith was richly rewarded.
While this story demonstrates the value of trusting in Jesus, it does not mean that we should always sit passively and “hope” everything will work out. There will be times in all of our lives when we feel God has forgotten us. Sometimes the sheer intensity or duration of a crisis can shake us to the core. Yet these are often the very opportunities God uses to build us up. Even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment, God works everything for good for those who love Him. Our faith can grow as we fix our hearts on Jesus, do the best we can to follow Him, and wait to see how He will act on our behalf.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, please don’t fear the future. Hold on to the fact that Christ “has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). Even when you are called to participate in the suffering of Jesus, you can do so knowing that through His blood, you have ultimate victory. Continue to exercise you faith, and your heart will open more and more to His provision. Jesus will never let you down.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I wait for Your second coming, teach me prayers of intercession so that my faith can move mountains. Help me to persevere as I pray for my family, Your Church, and the world. Amen.
Jakarta, 28 July 2015
A Christian Pilgrim