Faith in Action

Memorial of St. Martha
Exodus 34:29-35 Psalm 99:5, 6, 7, 9 Gospel - John 11:19-27

St. Martha gets a bad rap
Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Martha, a saint who often gets a bad rap, because we always remember her in comparison to her sister Mary who Jesus says “has chosen the better part”. Martha has a feast day that is independent of her sister Mary so that we can reflect on Her witness to Christ, and on the way that God called her to live out her life allowing her to be liberated and transformed by her encounter with Jesus Christ.

Martha is a woman of mission and purpose.
St. Martha is a woman of mission and purpose. Her witness to the Gospel is that of action, she is a woman of action, who gets things done, and who does not like to sit still and wait. St. Martha teaches us that Holy work is one way that we can show the presence of Christ’s love to the world. In today’s Gospel, she hears that Christ is coming, and she does something about it – she goes out to meet him.

Martha relates to Christ in her actions
Martha is a woman of action, it is through her actions that her relationship with Christ is built. Martha relates to Christ primarily through her actions, and she recognizes that Christ’s actions are His way of showing the love of the Father to the world. She expresses her love in her actions and in that way imitates Christ who expresses the fullness of his love through his action of dying on the Cross.

Christ’s challenge / Martha’s response.
When St. Martha meets Christ he reassures her and then challenges her faith “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

Jesus does this to reveal the heart of his life of action. He uses St. Martha, the woman of action today to reveal to us that his life, death and resurrection are the saving actions of God. It is in this revelation of his saving action that Martha makes her own statement of faith similar to that of St. Peter. 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.

How will our encounter with Christ today in the Eucharist transform us so that today our witness to the Gospel is expressed in our actions? What is Christ calling you, and me to do today?


The Heart of Theology = Knowing Christ

Memorial of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor
Ex 3:1-6, 9-12, Ps 103:1b-2, 3-4, 6-7, Mt 11:25-27

St. Bonaventure
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. He was a leader of the Franciscans, who said that as a youth he was spared from death by the intercession of St. Francis. He led the Franciscans during the time when St. Anthony of Padua was canonized, and continued in Anthony’s tradition of teaching the faith in a systematic way.

Systematic Theology = a Skeleton
A systematic approach to our faith is necessary, as it provides us with a framework in which to understand our relationship with God – but it is just that, it is the skeleton, and if we think that this is the sum of our faith, then we have a faith of dry bones.

Jesus Christ = Flesh and Blood
The readings today remind us, as St. Bonaventure reminded his brothers, sisters and students, that the path to God is not found in books, but in our everyday encounter with the God of Love. The love of God is a never-ending fire that burns without consuming – it respects the soul of the individual, and yet at the same time captivates, and fascinates us, so that we draw closer to Him.

God’s beauty is fascinating
When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, he appeared to him in a way that fascinated Moses and drew him in. It was only after he got over the fascination did he realize that he had encountered the invisible God. Moses did not encounter God in a Bible study, but rather he encountered God in the pursuit of his ordinary life.

The fire of our love for God is where the rubber hits the road
It is that fire of the love of God that puts the meat on our bones, that allows us to live life abundantly. Let us take the word of God to heart today – from Christ himself and remember that “although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” Lord Jesus, help us to walk with you today with a childlike heart so that we can witness your glory at work in the world!



14th Wednesday of Ordinary Time – Cycle B
Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7a, 17-24a, Ps 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19, Gospel: Mt 10:1-7

God gave Joeseph the Gift of Prudence
In the first reading, we see that God has given Joseph the gift of interpreting dreams so that he could help Pharaoh be a good ruler of Egypt. Joseph is made the steward of the graineries of Egypt to help the people; in fact all of the world endure this great famine. Joseph is Prudent – he uses that gift of wisdom to expand the graineries in Egypt and to store up the food so that when the famine hits, people are still provided for.

Spiritual Starvation – An understanding of man’s role in the world
Our world today is suffering from a famine of forgiveness, a famine of people’s ability to receive God’s grace. Many people are spiritually starved, but are unaware of the hunger for God that exists in their souls. To that feed that hunger God is pouring out His gifts of grace into the world through the Church.

It is our actions of love and forgiveness that proclaim the kingdom of God
In the Gospel today Jesus calls the twelve to become stewards of the sacramental gifts of the Church. The twelve are called to be apostles, to be his special disciples to steward the grace of God to the world. Christ’s commandment to them, is his commandment to us – “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and make this proclamation – The Kingdom of God is at Hand”. The way that the Church makes this proclamation is in the lives of the community of believers.

Let us allow the grace that Christ gives us in the “bread of angels” to work in our lives so that our relationships are healed – and the kingdom of God is proclaimed.
God used Joseph to steward his gift of bread to the Egyptians, and through the Egyptians to the world. God uses the Church, you and I to steward his gift of “The bread of angels” to his disciples. It is our relationship with Christ in the Eucharist that we share that God is commanding us to us to steward. As we reflect with Christ after receiving Him in Holy communion, let us bring to Him all of our relationships – especially those in need of healing. Let us invite Christ into our actions and words this day so that He can use these relationships with our families and friends to give witness to the coming of the Kingdom of God.


Encountering Providence

13th Wednesday of Ordinary Time – Cycle B

The readings today call to mind three key aspects of our relationship with God – Faith, Providence and Sin. In today’s Gospel Christ comes across the Sea and encounters two men possessed by demons. These men are so filled with evil that the roads near the tombs are not safe for travel. When these two men encounter Christ they are saved from the demons that possess them. St. Matthew does not focus on their salvation, but rather on the reaction to the presence of Christ of the local townspeople and the swineherds.

The demons are driven into the swine, who are driven mad and plunge into the sea where they die. The swineherd run into town not with the Good News, but fear for the village – their source of livliehood has just plunged into the sea and is gone.

When have we encountered a similar experience, when we encounter the “Good News” of Jesus Christ only to realize that our life has changed? How do we respond to this?

Providence is God’s action in our lives. Often times the providence of God is expressed through ordinary people and ordinary events, that lead us to deepen our trust in God and his love for us.

Faith is our ability to understand that God’s providence is at work in our lives. The more we recognize God’s providence, the easier it becomes for us to have faith in times of trial, when we, like the villagers are called to be purified from our sins.

Sin is the ways that we separate our lives from God. Sin weakens our ability to trust in God’s providence, because ultimately all sin is placing something that is not God above God. Whereever we find ourselves enslaved by sin, we are choosing our sin over God, and that makes these times of trusting to God’s providence more difficult.

When we encounter God’s providence in our lives today, will our Sin prevent us from seeing that the Good News has dawned into our lives or will our Faith allow us to see the truth of God’s love?