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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. July 29, 2009 - Wednesday Meditation (Provide Not What You Want But What They Need)
July 29, 2009 - Wednesday Meditation (Provide Not What You Want But What They Need) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Saturday, 25 July 2009 21:39

M any times we become so comfortable with our ministries and find so much success in what we are doing that it’s impossible to give up even when we become incapacitated or too infirmed to continue.  There is always the suspicion no one is qualified to replace us.  Too often we stay so long that we begin to lose our effectiveness and even become a detriment to the entire enterprise.

Memorial of St. Martha

Exodus 34:29-35

Psalm 99:5, 6, 7, 9

 

J ohn 11:19-27  (alternate reading: Matthew 13:44-46)  many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. (20) When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house. (21) Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (22) And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." (23) Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." (24) Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." (25) Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (26) and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (27) She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world." 

 

 

 

* Meditation by Howie Kalb, S.J.

 

 

M artha was a person who really loved people and wanted them to enjoy life.  She was blessed with that kind of magnanimous, enthusiastic personality.  When she heard Jesus was coming for a visit, she began the preparations for a banquet to end all banquets.  It’s the way important people are meant to be treated.  Notice: that is what Martha wanted to do.  What she should have tried to find out was what Jesus expected or needed.  Martha’s over exuberance was her first miscue.

Her mistake was the one often made by people overly anxious to please.  They think of their service in terms of what they know that they can provide for the ones they hope to impress.  But the charitable approach of successful people is to provide what would most satisfy their loved ones.

But as soon as Martha realized time was running out and she would not be able to take care of all the chores she went to Jesus and asked: “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”  Jesus responded: “Mary has chosen the better part.”  Martha should have gotten the picture immediately.  Leave the kitchen, forget the banquet and join with Mary at the feet of Christ.  However, everyone finds it difficult to give up personal plans and cooperate with another’s.

Many times we become so comfortable with our ministries and find so much success in what we are doing that it’s impossible to give up even when we become incapacitated or too infirmed to continue.  There is always the suspicion no one is qualified to replace us.  Too often we stay so long that we begin to lose our effectiveness and even become a detriment to the entire enterprise. Have you ever noticed how often this happens with volunteers, even in parish settings?

It’s a blessing to have magnanimous and enthusiastic volunteers on your roster.  And you pray that they’ll continue to be interested and cooperative in the communal expectations and needs.  Then too, what a blessing it is when those people become aware they no longer have the energy or competence to continue and graciously bow out letting others take over.

Supplementary Reading

Derailed by Fear?

Come near to God and he will come near to you. – James 4:8

G od longs to be close to us. He loves you. You are his child, his precious creation. When you feel distant from him, it is not because God has moved. It's because you have pulled away from him, you have broken your connection with him. One way your connection with God gets broken is through fear…of not being good enough…of him loving others more…of having too little faith. Myriads of fears can derail your relationship with God.

The antidote to fear is faith. Flexing faith power requires making a choice. It is choosing to believe even when feelings of fear threaten to choke out your faith.

Choose to believe in a forgiving God. Choose to believe in a loving God. Choose to believe that God who created you—with your fears—can restore your faith in him.

* * *

Has fear derailed your relationship with God in any way? Are your fears tied into what you believe about God? Write your fears in one column, then come up with one truth about God you will choose to believe to overcome each fear you listed.

* * *

Note:  This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional"



GOD BLESS US ALL!
PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.
 
 
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 06:24
 
Comments (1)
1 Tuesday, 28 July 2009 06:43
SAINT MARTHA: A Memorial

Martha lived with her sister and brother, Mary and Lazarus, in Bethany near Jerusalem. Toward the end of his public life the Lord would often stay at the home of these close friends. Strong bonds of affection closely unite the three to Jesus.

Love for the Master and confidence in his help.

The feast of St Martha is another occasion for us to enter into the home that was so often graced by the presence of Jesus in Bethany. There in the family formed by Martha, Mary and Lazarus, the Lord found affection and also rest for his body, tired out as it often was by never-ending travels through outlying towns and cities. Jesus sought refuge among his friends, especially during those final days when he more frequently encountered misunderstanding and scorn, particularly from the Pharisees The sentiments of the Master towards his friends at Bethany are expressed by St John in his Gospel account: Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister and Lazarus (John 11:5). They were indeed true friends!

The Gospel of the Mass (John 11:17-27) recounts Jesus’ visit to the home of this family four days after Lazarus had died. Before He arrived there, when Lazarus was already gravely ill, the sisters, full of confidence, had sent the Master this message: Lord, behold, the one whom you love is sick (John 11:3). Jesus, then in Galilee, a few days journey away, when he heard that he was sick, he remained two more days in the same place. Then afterwards, He said to his disciples: ‘Let us go into Judaea’ (John 11:67). When He arrived, Lazarus had already been four days in the tomb.

Martha, always attentive and active, realized probably even before Jesus reached the house that he was getting close, and went out immediately to greet him. Despite the Lord’s apparent lack of response to their plea for help, her love and confidence had not been diminished. Lord - Martha tells him - if you were here, my brother would not have died (John 11:21). She upbraids him with great sensitivity for not having arrived earlier. Martha was hoping for her brother’s cure when he was still sick. And Jesus, with a friendly gesture, perhaps with a smile on his lips, surprised her: Your brother will rise again, he says (John 11:23). Martha receives these words of consolation, but understanding the final resurrection by his words she answers him: I know that he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day (John 11:24). The response provokes an amazing declaration from Jesus regarding his divinity: I am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in me, though he die, shall live, and who ever lives and believes in me shall never die (John 11:25). And he asks her: Do you believe this? Who could resist the sovereign authority of this declaration? I am the Resurrection and the Life... I.... I am the reason for being of all that exists. Jesus is the Life, not only the Life that begins hereafter, but also the present one in which supernatural grace works in our souls while we are still wayfarers. These extraordinary words assure us and draw us closer and closer to Christ. They lead us to make Martha’s response our own: I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God, come into the world (John 11:27). Moments later, the Lord was to raise Lazarus from the dead.

We admire Martha’s faith and want to imitate her in her trusting friendship with the Master. Have you seen the affection and confidence with which Christ’s friends treat him? In a completely natural way the sisters of Lazarus ‘blame’ Jesus for being away: ‘We told you! If only you’d been here!’

Speak to him with calm confidence: ‘Teach us to treat you with the loving friendliness of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, as the first twelve treated you, even though at first they followed you perhaps for not very supernatural reasons’ (J. Escrivá, The Forge, 495).

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore. com (info@totusbookstore .com)

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