Reflection for Friday, July 29, 2022: Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

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Carney, Jay
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|Martha is not just a busybody!|In popular Christian parlance – reinforced by the gospel two Sundays ago – Martha is a workaholic who chastises Jesus for allowing her sister to sit at his feet rather than do dishes. Luke's story of Mary and Martha is a timeless parable, to be sure. But today's gospel from John gets us much closer to why the Church has celebrated Martha's witness since its earliest days.|For while her contemplative sister Mary "stays at home," it is the active Martha who seeks out Jesus. It is Martha who confronts Jesus in a biblical spirit of lamentation, decrying his past absence yet also calling on God to act through him. It is Martha who confesses the hope of resurrection, and then goes on to proclaim one of the highest Christological statements in all of the gospels: "I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." If the Church is built on the faith of Peter, it is also surely built on the faith of Martha, as well as the contemplative silence of Mary, and the new life given to Lazarus.  |Today in the rural diocese of Kasana-Luweero in Uganda, Bethany Land Institute is having its grand opening. Inspired by Pope Francis's Laudato Si, BLI was also inspired by the witness of today's three saints. BLI's "Mary's Farm" trains agricultural students in sustainable land care and food production; "Martha's Market" enables BLI Caretakers to develop and practice credit, business and entrepreneurial skills; and "Lazarus' Trees" is a forest and tree nursery with the audacious goal of planting one million trees by 2030. Forming Ugandans in a vision of integral ecology and resurrection hope, BLI exemplifies Martha's faith in action in a long-suffering world. May all of us seek similar ways to exemplify Martha's passionate faith in a "creation groaning in labor pains, even until now" (Romans 8:22).
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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