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  • Writer's pictureCatholic Ministries Appeal

The Feast of Martha, Mary and Lazarus – July 29

On February 2, 2021, Pope Francis added Mary and Lazarus to the Feast Day of Martha in the Decree of the Congregation For Divine Worship. It states “In the household of Bethany the Lord Jesus experienced the family spirit and friendship of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and for this reason, the Gospel of John states that he loved them. Martha generously offered him hospitality, Mary listened attentively to his words and Lazarus promptly emerged from the tomb at the command of the One who humiliated death.”

Sts. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were three siblings living in the town of Bethany outside of Jerusalem during the time of Christ. They continue to be shining examples for us today, providing valuable lessons and inspiration in various aspects of our lives, and are excellent examples of Stewardship for us to exemplify in our everyday life.

Balancing Action and Contemplation: Martha's dedication to active service and Mary's focus on contemplation teaches us the importance of striking a balance between action and stillness in our lives. In our fast-paced world, we can learn to find moments of quiet reflection and prayer while also engaging in acts of service and love for others.

The Pillars of Prayer and Formation: Mary prioritized spiritual nourishment. Her choice to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen attentively reminds us of the significance of being fed God’s word. In our busy lives, setting aside time for prayer, scripture reading, and reflection allows us to deepen our relationship with God and receive His guidance. Like Mary, we can choose to intently listen to God's Word and seek wisdom through prayer and meditation. By engaging in active listening to God's voice, we can discern His will for our lives and grow in spiritual understanding.

The Pillars of Hospitality and Service: Martha welcomed others into her home and heart. Martha shows us that simple acts of kindness and selflessness can have a profound impact. As Disciples of Christ, we can follow her lead by extending a warm and welcoming spirit to those we encounter, creating spaces of love and acceptance for others to feel at home.

The Pillars of Prayer and Formation: Lazarus had strong faith amid his challenges. Lazarus' resurrection demonstrates the transformative power of Christ in the face of adversity. His story encourages us to maintain unwavering faith through prayer and formation even during difficult times, trusting that Christ's love can overcome any obstacle. Lazarus' resurrection serves as a powerful witness to Christ's presence and divine authority in our lives. As modern-day witnesses, we can testify to the transformative power of Christ's love and share our personal encounters with Him, inspiring others to draw closer to God.

The friendship that Jesus shared with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus reflects the intimate relationship He desires to have with each one of us. We can deepen our friendship with Jesus by spending time in His presence, offering our joys and struggles, and entrusting Him with our lives. His love for us is what He wants us to emulate in others. "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:12-13)

Martha, Mary, and Lazarus exemplified a willingness to embrace God's plan for their lives, even when it led to challenging circumstances. By surrendering to God's will, we can find peace and purpose, knowing that His plan is always filled with love and goodness. By incorporating these lessons from Martha, Mary, and Lazarus into our lives we can inspire us to grow in faith, serve others with love, and embrace a balanced and fulfilling spiritual journey. Let their example guide us as we strive to deepen our relationship with God and live as authentic and faithful disciples of Christ.

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