Saint Martha (1st century)
for July 29
The story of Saint Martha, and her profound friendship with Jesus and trust in his power, is found in the Gospels. Martha is first mentioned as the busy and frustrated hostess of Jesus and his followers. Poor Martha. She was so preoccupied with cleaning, cooking, and running around that Jesus had to remind her that sometimes those tasks can be set aside for a greater good. Her sister, Mary, was seated at Jesus’ feet, captivated by his words and actions. Jesus wanted this of Martha too. Later, however, when Martha's brother, Lazarus, died, Martha hurried to find Jesus and confessed her belief in his divinity and authority. Jesus then raised Lazarus from death.
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When Martha is first mentioned in the Bible, she is preoccupied with preparing the meal and house for Jesus and his guests. She criticizes her sister for not helping with the cooking and cleaning. Jesus then defends Martha's sister, Mary, and teaches the importance of sometimes simply sitting, resting and basking in the truths taught by God. Like Martha, most of us are usually distracted by the abundance of tasks and work demanded of us. We have to go to work, go to school, do homework, pay bills, clean, do laundry, cook, etc. The list goes on and on. But, like Martha, we sometimes must stop all activity and simply rest in God's presence. How can you intentionally make time every day to stop worrying, stop working, and simply "sit at the feet of Jesus"?
Pray to God for the wisdom to recognize times in your life when you ought to worry less and focus more intently on him. Ask for the ability to concentrate more fully and regularly on what matters and not on whatever feels most important.