Commemoration of Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany
Heavenly Father, Your beloved Son befriended frail humans like us to make us Your own. Teach us to be like Jesus’ dear friends from Bethany, that we might hserve Him faithfully like Martha, learn from Him earnestly like Mary, and ultimately be raised by him, like Lazarus. Through their Lord and ours, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were disciples with whom Jesus had a special bond of love and friendship. The Gospel According to Saint John records that “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus (11:5).”
On one occasion, Martha welcomed Jesus into their home for a meal. While she did all the work, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to his Word and was commended by Jesus for choosing the “good portion, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42).”
When their brother Lazarus died, Jesus spoke to Martha this beautiful Gospel promise: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he life.” We note that in this instance, it was Martha who made the wonderful confessions of faith in Christ (John 11:1-44).
Ironically, raising Lazarus from the dead made Jesus’ enemies among the Jewish leaders more determined than ever to kill Him (11:45-57).
Six days before Jesus was crucified, Mary anointed His feet with a very expensive fragrant oil and wiped them with her hair, not knowing at the time that she was doing it in preparation for her Lord’s burial (John 12:1-8).