Today, on the feast of Saint Martha, we read in John’s Gospel the strong, prophetic act of faith by Saint Martha. Jesus has arrived in her hometown of Bethany after hearing of the death of Lazarus. Upon seeing Jesus, Martha blames Jesus saying if you were here he wouldn’t be dead. How many times have we turned towards God with those exact words on our lips? The raw human emotions that come with death were ones even Jesus couldn’t escape. People like to put Jesus into a box, as a kind-hearted preacher whose life until his passion was peace and love. The reality is, Jesus’ mission was to be a warrior against death. To fight the one uncontrollable thing in our lives.
The free will of a human given by God does not exclude death. It is up to us where we go when we die and how we die. I don’t mean in the literal sense but in the spiritual sense of course. Jesus reminds us of this in today’s Gospel when he said “Your brother will rise again.” Not only was he speaking about Lazarus but to all of our brothers and our sisters. We profess this every single Sunday we attend Holy Mass. It’s what fills us with uncontrollable hope and countless thanksgivings for God. Jesus has defeated death, there’s nothing else to fear.
Jesus has allowed us to live fully. Through our Baptism and the graces we receive from Reconciliation and Holy Communion. There should be no fear of death as long as you continue to turn like Saint Martha to Jesus. Have you allowed Jesus to strip the chains of death from you?
Pray with me: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” Saint Martha, pray for us.