The more I read about St. Martha, Lazarus' elder sister, I cannot help but see myself in her and perhaps you do too. I can't say that this is necessarily pleasing to me. For example, the Lord on an occasion of visiting Mary, Martha and Lazarus did chastise this sister when she was busy in the kitchen and lamenting about her work by saying, "Martha you are worried about many things" (Luke 10:41). I feel like the Lord is constantly saying this same sentence to me. Martha is also interesting in that she confirms that Jesus is the Son of God in this past Sunday's Gospel (John 11:24); however, she seems disappointed that he took so long to come to her dear brother, Lazarus' bedside. Why did he wait? Where was he? Did he not love Lazarus after all? Martha tells Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (John 11:21).
I am a person that wants things done yesterday! I have struggled with this my whole life. I have the hardest time when things don't go according to my schedule or something unexpected happens. I feel like saying, "Come on God, you know I am busy." "You know my anxiety cannot take this, you know I am tired and over-worked!" "Where are you!" "If you were here and taking care of me, this would not be happening!" "Why Lord?" So, just like Martha, I too feel like God is sometimes a little too late.
In reading through a Lenten reflection, this was said about Martha and this situation, and I think it is good for us "Type A" personalities to seriously and prayerfully think about:
"But Jesus reassures me as he reassured Martha: 'Look, no matter when I seem to get there, I've been with you all the time, and I can pull life out of anything. I can do that with your sins...things that are your fault. I can do that with tragedy. I will do it with the crucifixion. I can do it when things happen because of the sins and failings of others."
"That is the lesson of Lazarus' rising. If I can believe that Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, it makes all the difference. I never loose hope. I can always put my faith in Jesus. I can respond to situations (even sin and violence) his way, and know that he can pull life out it. It is a powerful belief. As we approach Easter, I can catch the spirit of this Gospel and live this belief. This belief will change my whole life if I really accept it and trust in the Lord."
So, let us take a lesson from the meaning of this story and trust in the Lord, through sin, violence, turmoil and inconvenience. It is harder for some (like me) and easier for others, but as we get closer to approaching Holy Week we can trust knowing that the Resurrection is on it's way.
Dear Lord, let me see how you pull life out of everything, especially through my daily trials, struggles and inconveniences. Amen.
Peace and all good things to you.
The Little Black Book: Six-minute Meditations on the Sunday Gospels of Lent (Cycle A). (2010) Edited by Catherine Haven. Diocese of Saginaw.