Thursday, July 29, 2010


St. Martha, along with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus, was one of the closest friends that Jesus had when he walked this earth. He often visited their home in Bethany and it was there that he went a few days before his betrayal and suffering (see John 12: 1-7). No doubt he went there to find comfort and strength from their friendship. May St. Martha intercede with us today as we offer ourselves for the Holy Father’s monthly intentions. May women around the world be able to participate in their nations’ elections and may their dignity be recognized so that they may fully participate in making the world, especially our cities, more human. Our reflection is from Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.”

The sisters of Lazarus also deserve special mention. Mary "listened to the teaching" of Jesus: when he pays them a visit, he calls Mary's behavior "the good portion" in contrast to Martha's preoccupation with domestic matters (cf. Lk 10: 3842).

A woman is strong because of her awareness of this entrusting, strong because of the fact that God "entrusts the human being to her", always and in every way, even in the situations of social discrimination in which she may find herself. This awareness and this fundamental vocation speak to women of the dignity which they receive from God himself, and this makes them "strong" and strengthens their vocation. Thus the "perfect woman" (cf. Prov 31:10) becomes an irreplaceable support and source of spiritual strength for other people, who perceive the great energies of her spirit. These "perfect women" are owed much by their families, and sometimes by whole nations. [#30]

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