Today’s memorial of Saints Martha, Mary, and Lazarus is a feast of siblings, which is unique and compelling. It’s a wonderful reminder of how family should be: united in faith, and bringing each other to Christ.
The story of the raising of Lazarus, of which we have a fragment in today’s Gospel reading, is a story of how shared faith can triumph over death. Martha and Mary reacted in different ways to the death of their brother and the absence of Jesus in the midst of it, but they both came to new faith as Jesus led them to a new reality. It’s our responsibility to bring our loved ones to Jesus, and for Martha and Mary, the need for that was very real.
Martha and Mary, in a sense, are catechumens, and their coming to new faith in the presence of Jesus is a foreshadowing of the journey of faith we all make as we come to know and live in the presence of our Lord. Today’s memorial remembers Martha who toiled for the sake of hospitality, and professed her faith in Jesus when her brother died. It remembers Martha too, who famously sat at the feet of Jesus, drinking in his every word. And we also remember Lazarus, from whom, interestingly enough, we never hear, but who Jesus loved enough to raise him from death. In them we see ourselves: called to serve and profess our faith, called to contemplate the presence of Jesus, and called to the resurrection of the dead, which Lazarus saw firsthand