One Minute Reflection – 29 July – Monday of the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Martha, Gospel: John 11:19–27
“Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.” … John 11:27
REFLECTION – “Christ went to raise Lazarus and the fame of that miracle was the immediate cause of His seizure and crucifixion (Jn 11,46)… He felt that Lazarus was wakening to life at His own sacrifice, that He was descending into the grave which Lazarus left. He felt that Lazarus was to live and He to die, the appearance of things was to be reversed, the feast was to be kept in Martha’s house (Jn 12,1f.) but the last passover of sorrow remained for Him. And Jesus knew that this reverse was altogether voluntary with Him. He had come down from His Father’s bosom to be an Atonement of blood for all sin and, thereby, to raise all believers from the grave, as He was then about to raise Lazarus and to raise them, not for a time, but for eternity…
Contemplating then the fullness of His purpose, while now going about a single act of mercy, He said to Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die.” Let us take to ourselves these comfortable thoughts, both in the contemplation of our own death, or upon the death of our friends. Wherever faith in Christ is, there is Christ Himself. He said to Martha, “Believe thou this?” Wherever there is a heart to answer, “Lord, I believe,” there Christ is present. There our Lord vouchsafes to stand, though unseen—whether over the bed of death or over the grave, whether we ourselves are sinking, or those who are dear to us. Blessed be his name! nothing can rob us of this consolation, we will be as certain, through His grace, that He is standing over us in love, as though we saw Him. We will not, after our experience of Lazarus’s history, doubt an instant that He is thoughtful about us and that he stands at our side.” … Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, theologian – Sermon “ The Tears of Christ at the Grave of Lazarus ” PPS, vol. 3, no.10
PRAYER – Almighty ever-living God, Your Son graciously came as a guest to the home of St Martha and was the friend of her family. Martha in her sorrow was moved to declare her total faith in Him, grant we pray, that in our trials and sorrows, we too may prove our love for You. By her prayers give us grace to serve Christ faithfully in our brethren and bring us to Your home in heaven. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, amen.