“Being inspired by St Martha to be persons who are involved in work; yet, realising the need to find a home in the heart of the Lord!”
(Based on the Feast of St Martha)
Lord of all pots and pans and things, since I’ve no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things, or watching late with Thee,
Or dreaming in the dawnlight, or storming heaven’s gates,
Make me a saint by getting meals, and washing up the plates.
Although I must have Martha’s hands, I have a Mary mind;
And when I black the boots and shoes, Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth, what time I scrub the floor;
Accept this meditation, Lord, I haven’t time for more.
Warm all the kitchen with Thy love, and light it with Thy peace;
Forgive me all my worrying, and make my grumbling cease.
Thou Who didst love to give men food, in room, or by the sea,
Accept this service that I do —- I do it unto Thee.
This poem called as “Prayer Hymn” by Cecily R Hallack is found on the preface page of a book entitled “Devotions for Women at Home” by Martha Meister Kiely, 1959.
(This poem is also called as “Kitchen Prayer” attributed to Klara Carlotta Munkres)
The world is fast-paced.
Some of us are always on the move
Some of us are always on our feet
From very early dawn to very late dusk…
… we’re frenzied with activities & works & efforts & exertions.
Life gives us ample excuses to get busy, isn’t it?
Our cultures sometimes even measures our worth by how busy we are…
….determines our significance by how much we accomplish…
….assesses our importance by how well we meet the expectations of others!
We are often under the yoke of proving to be ‘Somebody’ by what “we do”…
…than by what “we are”!
In this busy dizzy frenzied life…
… the Church today celebrates the Feast of St Martha and teaches us beautiful life examples to grow in holiness.
The moment St Martha is mentioned, our minds immediately paint a picture of a working lady, in the kitchen…
Perhaps a little irritated and vexed, that she alone has to do the serving for Jesus, the Guest.
She is also considered, often, in low tones, in comparison to her sister, Mary.
But on this her feast, we shall try to look closer into the life of this Saint…
… who sadly often remains touted only as an irritated and perplexed kitchen-lady…
And instead learn some important lessons from this Lovely Saint, for our Spiritual Life:
- The Hospitable Martha
The first images of Martha is of one who loved to serve and attend to the needs of the Lord.
Jesus found a home and a resting place in this house of Bethany (Lk 10:38)
- The Worried Martha
This popular image of Martha is a reality in this down-to-earth Saint. She is naturally worried, that she is left alone in serving the Divine Lord.
She even tends to demand the Lord to ask her sister, Mary to help her (Lk 10:40)
- The Loved Martha
The Apostle of Love, St John, describes Martha as “the one who was loved by the Lord” (Jn 11:5)
- The Sorrowful Martha
At the death of her brother Lazarus, Martha expresses deep sorrow and grief.
Her simple humanness comes to the light once again. (Jn 11:19)
- The Trustful Martha
Though her brother died, the coming of Jesus to her home, was a great occasion for Martha to express her trust and confidence that the Lord can work wonders and great signs. (Jn 11:22)
- The Believing Martha
Martha rose to the occasion when Jesus demands an expression of faith…
Parallel to Peter’s Faith Confession (Mt 16:16), Martha articulates her belief & conviction (Jn 11:27)
- The Bold Martha
An often overlooked fact is that Jesus was often under the ire of the Pharisees and the Elders of the Law – some of them even plotting to kill this “emerging Reformer and Restorer” of the Law.
Jesus was at a constant risk to His life.
And yet, the Bold Martha is courageous and daring to accept the Lord into her home and to render him a shelter and a safe haven.
St Martha serves an inspiration to us, involved in much work and yet seeking to find a home in the heart of the Lord…
St Martha becomes a model to us…
Having human frailties and weakness…
… and yet wanting to tread the path of Holiness.
St Martha proves to be an example to us who gets discouraged by worries and brokenness in life…
… and yet wanting to honour to the Lord with a life of faith and strong belief.
The key is … “To Pay Attention to the Lord”
St Martha perhaps..
… had one Missed Call from the Lord: “Martha Martha, you are anxious about many things” (Lk 10:41)….
But the next time onwards…she was ready to answer…!
As St Paul says, “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)…
… let us glorify the Lord by our lives!
Happy Feast of St Martha!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
- Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)– “Those who are burdened with Martha’s busy
anxieties, would not fail to enjoy in the very midst of their hearts, the deep peace of Mary’s better part…