St. Martha of Bethany near Jerusalem is in the Gospels of Luke and John. “Jesus loved Martha and
Mary and Lazarus” (Jn 11:5). This unique verse tells us of the exceptional friendship Jesus had with
Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha’s home in
Bethany. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9. These gospel
accounts serve as an encouragement to those who wish to draw closer to Jesus.
Pope Francis reminds the youth in his apostolic exhortation, Christ is Alive # 150, that that they won’t
know the “deepest and fullest” meaning of their early years “unless you encounter each day your best
friend, the friend who is Jesus.” Christ is Alive # 153: “With the same love that Christ pours out on us,
we can love him in turn and share his love with others, in the hope that they too will take their place in
the community of friendship he established.” The Pope continues in Christ is Alive # 154. “Friendship
with Jesus cannot be broken. He never leaves us, even though at times it appears that he keeps silent.”
Friendship invites for faith commitment. The Dogmatic Constitution on divine revelation, Dei Verbum
# 5 says: “‘The obedience of faith’ (Rom 16:26; see 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5-6) ‘is to be given to God who
reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission
of intellect and will to God who reveals,’ and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him.”
Martha’s heart and mind perceive things ahead of their happening, when Jesus comes to her home for
dinner. Martha sensed somewhat agitated before his arrival, making sure everything was tidy and in
order. Once he arrived, she was still busy preparing the food. As a hostess, Martha was striving to
ensure that Jesus felt welcomed and at home in her house. Also her faith and love is seen in John 11,
when Martha’s brother Lazarus contracted a terrible illness, she sent Jesus a message with the hope that
he would come and heal him. However, Jesus did not arrive until four days after Lazarus’s death.
Martha did not react to Jesus’ late arrival with sorrow or anger, but with calm understanding: Martha
said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that
whatever you ask of God, God will give you” (Jn 11:21-22). An interaction between Martha and Jesus
assures her that Lazarus will rise again then, Jesus asked her probably the most important question
anyone had ever asked her, “Do you believe this?” She is witness to Jesus resuscitating her brother,
Sometime in each of our lives, Jesus is going to basically ask us the same question – do we believe in
Him and have faith in His promises? Often it is at a time of global pandemic, trial, struggle and grief,
like it was for St. Martha – remember she was mourning the death of her beloved brother, Lazarus. It
will be the moment of truth; have we just been paying lip-service to Jesus, just mindlessly going along
with what we have been taught about Him and His Church, or will we make our belief in Him real and
May this faith-event of St Martha help our youth to find hope and solace into the  future. Four of her
great virtues our faithful should be known for. We should first ponder her hospitality; second, we
should ponder her loving service which made her serve the Lord with silent, visible simplicity; third
virtue is her faith; and fourth virtue is her desire to share the grace of Jesus’ presence and power with
others. Martha’s words to her sister Mary before Lazarus was raised, as a summons that every Christian
must obey: “The teacher is here and is asking for you,” Jesus is calling every one of us to
resurrection—now in baptismal faith, forever in sharing his victory over death. And all of us, as well as
Martha, Mary and Lazarus, are in our own unique way called to special friendship with him. And this
should drive our zeal, as the youth, to be at the service of humanity, meaning our brothers and sisters.