Martha has become famous for her hospitality and even for her irritability. However, she should go down in history for her faith in Jesus. She made one of the greatest acts of faith ever. After her brother's death, Jesus said to Martha: "I am the Resurrection and the Life: whoever believes in Me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" (Jn 11:25-26) Because no one had ever before said the sentence: "I am the Resurrection and the Life," it must have sounded incomprehensible to Martha, yet she believed.
Martha was able to make this super-act of faith because she had accepted Jesus' correction when He told her: "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion" (Lk 10:41-42). The better portion is to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to His words (Lk 10:39). "Faith comes through hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rm 10:17, our transl). Because Martha stopped being "anxious and upset about many things" and put top priority on hearing God's words, she grew in faith. Later, she was able to say: "I have come to believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God: He Who is to come into the world" (Jn 11:27).
We will be called to make great acts of faith in the future. We are being prepared for this now. Jesus is telling us to change our priorities and set aside more time to hear Him. If we do this, we will have a faith-filled future.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2010 through July 31, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009.