Memorial of Saint Martha

“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.” (John 11:20.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Since Mary is a type of the contemplative life, Martha of the active, Lazarus of him who has fallen into sins after believing, naturally Mary and Martha mourn for Lazarus, and in mourning they need the comfort concerning their brother which the Jews wish to bring them. But before the fullness of time, words despair of being able to make the sister of the dead cease from weeping over him.

Martha seems more eager than Mary, since Martha first ran to Jesus, while Mary remained sitting in the house. Therefore Martha, who was somewhat inferior in this regard, ran to Jesus while Mary remains in the house to receive him as one who was able to bear his presence. And she would not have gone out from her house if she had not heard her sister say, “The teacher has arrived and is calling you.” And she did not simply get up but did so quickly, and falling at Jesus’ feet said what she said. The other sister had not fallen at his feet.” (Fragment 80.)

Almighty ever-living God,
whose Son was pleased to be welcomed
in Saint Martha’s home as a guest,
grant, we pray,
serving Christ faithfully
in our brothers and sisters,
we may merit to be received by you
in the halls of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen