Martha’s faith

Gospel Reading: Jn 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died.] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

Martha’s request is an act of faith in the person of Jesus. She not only confesses her firm belief in his power to work miracles, but also acknowledges his unique relationship to God. Martha believes that the mere presence of Jesus at her brother’s bedside may have sufficed to hold back the rapacious hand of death. But now that her brother has died, she knows, however vaguely, that whatever Jesus asks from God, God will give him (cf v 22). In other words, her request is nothing short of asking to have her dead brother brought back to life. Of course, she knows the finality and irreversibility of death itself, but she also believes God to be the sole Lord and origin of life. The gift of Life – and by “life” John always understands eternal life S– is a gift to mortal human beings. With or without this gift, they all have to die. No one is exempted from this law of mortality: “All flesh is grass” (Is 40:6). Indeed, the subjection to the inevitable law of death is a primary meaning of this “flesh” which the Word became (cf Jn 1:14).

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we believe that we possess eternal life even here and now.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website:

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