Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus who lived in the little town
of Bethany near Jerusalem. They were dear friends of Jesus, and he
often came to visit them. In fact, the Gospel tells us: "Jesus loved
Martha, and her sister Mary and Lazarus."
It was St. Martha who lovingly served the Lord when he visited them.
One day, she was preparing a meal for Jesus and his disciples. She
realized that the task would be easier if her sister Mary would help
instead of sitting quietly at Jesus' feet, listening to him.
"Lord, tell my sister to help me," Martha suggested. Jesus was very
pleased with Martha's loving service but he wanted her to know that
listening to God's Word and praying is even more important. So he said
gently, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious about many things, but only
one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part."
St. Martha's great faith in Jesus was seen when her brother Lazarus
died. As soon as she heard that Jesus was coming to Bethany, Martha
went to meet him. She trusted Jesus and said to him: "Lord, if you had
been here, my brother would not have died."
Then Jesus told her that Lazarus would rise. He said, "He who believes
in me, even if he die, shall live. Do you believe this?" And Martha
answered, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of
God, who has come into the world." Jesus worked a great miracle and
raised Lazarus from the dead!
Later, Jesus came again to have supper with Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
St. Martha served them at table as always. This time, though, Martha
did it lovingly and served them with a joyful heart.