Martha, Mary and Lazarus
M Mons. Vincenzo Paglia

Gospel (Lk 10,38-42) - At that time, while they were traveling, Jesus entered a village and a woman named Martha hosted him. She had a sister, named Mary, who, sitting at the feet of the Lord, listened to her word. Marta, on the other hand, was distracted by her many services. She then came forward and said: «Lord, don't you care at all that my sister left me alone to serve? So tell her to help me." But the Lord answered her: «Martha, Martha, you worry and worry about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part of herself, which will not be taken away from her."

The commentary on the Gospel by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia

Today the Church remembers Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus. It is a family of friends of Jesus whose names appear several times in the Gospels. We could say that welcoming Jesus into their home makes them a model for us too. The Gospel of John in particular shows this family in a dramatic moment: Lazarus, who was seriously ill, has died and Jesus with his disciples goes to them. Martha is the woman who welcomes and goes to meet Jesus, while Mary remains seated at home. «Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died!», says Martha; what she says seems like a reproach, but she is already a testimony of faith, because she knows that the presence of Jesus is a bringer of life. These words of Lazarus' sister put us alongside the waiting of many sick people, many elderly people, and many others who are abandoned and left alone without any care. Martha's prayer reminds us that Jesus is actually never far from the life of those who suffer. He, as with his friend Lazarus, comes close to those who are sick and calls us to follow him. Each disciple must cultivate human feelings in his heart that help build a supportive, fraternal and therefore human society. This requires conversion of the heart, that is, having the same feelings that Jesus had for Lazarus. Jesus was moved by the death of his friend, to the point of crying, and was led to his friend's tomb. To Martha he says: «I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, he will live. Do you believe this? It is the question that Jesus asks everyone to shine a light of hope. And Martha: «Yes, O Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who comes into the world». Let us make Marta's profession of faith our own.