READINGS for 2006-07-29

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



Martha said to Jesus, ?If You had been here Lord, my brother would not have died!? ? John 11:21

Why Lord?! Why now?! Why me?! These were my exact words, plus more, last May 2001.
      I blamed God for something awful that happened in my life. Not only did I blame Him, I blamed myself. Can you relate to what I?m saying?
      I lost someone very precious to me that year. I couldn?t comprehend at that time why God allowed it. I?d been serving Him in community for more than 15 years of my life.
      I?d been very faithful. I?de led young people to know and love Him?and then this is what he does?!
      It took me a few months (thank God, it was short!) to get over the loss and move on. But, believe me, those few painful months was where God made me realize so many things about myself, about reality and about His awesome love for me. ?Til this day, those lessons help me become a better person.
      I was like Martha who did not have the heart, the eyes and the patience to see God?s better plan.
      Please, don?t imitate me in this. Mara R.

Are you like Martha who would blame Jesus for misfortunes that happen in her life?

Lord, help me trust in your perfect plan for me.



1 John 4:7-16 (Or Jeremiah 7:1-11)

John writes to His community and exhorts them to grow in love of God and of others. These two things are intricately linked together such that one is really impossible without the other. The nature of love is such that it is impossible to be totally exclusive with it. If we love one person, this will necessitate us loving another person and so on.

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. 8 Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. 10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit. 14 Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. 16 We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.


Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11(Or Psalm 84)

R: I will bless the Lord at all times.

1 [2] I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 2 [3] Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. (R) 3 [4] Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name. 4 [5] I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (R) 5 [6] Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. 6 [7] When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. (R) 7 [8] The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 [9] Taste and see how  good the LORD is; happy the man who takes refuge in him. (R) 9 [10] Fear the LORD, you his holy ones, for nought is lacking to those who fear him. 10 [11] The great grow poor and hungry; but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing. (R)


John 11:19-27 (Or Matthew 13:24-30)

Martha expresses great faith when she states her belief in the resurrection rom the dead. She affirms her belief that Jesus is the Messiah. As we go about our daily lives, let us take with us the knowledge that we are called to witness to this truth as well. Sometimes the opportunities to do this are few. Even so, we should not stop looking for them and be prepared to grasp them when they arrive.

19 And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, ?Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.? 23 Jesus said to her, ?Your brother will rise.? 24 Martha said to him, ?I know he will rise,  in the resurrection on the last day.? 25 Jesus told her, ?I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?? 27 She said to him, ?Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.?

my reflections
The nature of love is such that it is impossible to be totally exclusive with it. If we love one person, it will necessitate us loving another person and so on.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





The faith of Martha is evident in that she believes that if Jesus had been present before Lazarus had died He could have saved him. What a surprise is in store for her when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead!
      Martha?s faith is not yet as strong as it might be. It seems that she relies upon the actual presence of Jesus for a miracle to be worked. As we know from other testimonies in the Scriptures this is not essential. It is faith that is essential, not the physical presence of Jesus. Martha here is in a similar situation to Thomas after the resurrection.
      The second major aspect of this miracle is that it tells us that we should never put boundaries upon what God can or cannot do. Martha believes Lazarus is gone and that he will be raised up on the last day. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead then and there to demonstrate that He is the power behind the resurrection of the dead even though He has not yet died and risen himself. By this action Jesus is telling Martha she should not put limitations upon the promises of God ? not even intellectual limitations. Jesus goes beyond Martha?s limited understanding of the resurrection and thus broadens here horizons as to what hope in the resurrection really means.
      It is important that we have an open mind as to what God is doing and will do in our lives, not only in relation to the resurrection from the dead, but also in regard to His will for our lives. We should never allow ourselves to think that we fully understand what God wants of us, as there is always more than we realize to the Kingdom of God. When God is around the possibilities are infinite! If we rely upon our own understanding we limit ourselves to a finite portion of God?s plan. This would be a terrible waste of the potential with which we have been endowed as sons and daughters of God.
      The practical limiting factor of the work of God in our lives is our faith. For this reason we should always be seeking ways and means of growing in faith and being inspired to deepen our relationship with God. Seek out the time and wisdom of those who are close to God and learn from them what it means to be a true friend of God. Fr. Steve T.

What are the things that most inspire me to grow in faith? Where do I find the inspiration that deepens my relationship with God?

Holy Spirit, lead me in the ways and paths of God. Help me to put behind me the ways and concerns of the world so that I will live more and more for your Kingdom. Teach me to value the things that are going to last forever in my life and that will not pass away with the world.

St. Martha of Bethany, pray for us.

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