Friday of 17th Week of the Year, July 29, 2022

>>> Martha, Mary and Lazarus – Disciples of Jesus
Martha. To serve without being asked, to be ready for others. To be given little publicity but to work backstage. Not to ask for honours and pass on the shoulder but to do one’s work quietly. This is how she followed the Lord. And her faith was deep and strong in Christ as the Son of God who could raise the dead back to life. Mary enjoins us to do nothing but “SIT at the foot of the Lord, and LISTEN!” Lazarus is a sign of the Lord’s POWER and pointing out the PRIZE for all believers, RESURRECTION.
Opening Prayer
We honour today Saints Martha, Mary and Lazarus
as people of faith
and unobtrusive lovers of people.
Give us their faith in Christ
as the Lord of life
and the firstfruits of the resurrection.
Make us listeners to your Son
and willing servants of one another
who attend to others in their need.
We ask your this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
1 Reading – JEREMIAH 26:1-9
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah, this message came from the LORD: Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the house of the LORD and speak to the people of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD; whatever I command you, tell them, and omit nothing. Perhaps they will listen and turn back, each from his evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I have planned to inflict upon them for their evil deeds. Say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you disobey me, not living according to the law I placed before you and not listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send you constantly though you do not obey them, I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this the city to which all the nations of the earth shall refer when cursing another. Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD. When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the LORD bade him speak to all the people, the priests and prophets laid hold of him, crying, “You must be put to death! Why do you prophesy in the name of the LORD: ‘This house shall be like Shiloh,’ and ‘This city shall be desolate and deserted’?” And all the people gathered about Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
Responsorial PSALM 69:5, 8-10, 14
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Those outnumber the hairs of my head
who hate me without cause.
Too many for my strength
are they who wrongfully are my enemies.
Must I restore what I did not steal? R.
Since for your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother’s sons,
Because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me. R.
But I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help. R.
Alleluia – 1 PETER 1:25
Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever;
this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: JOHN 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. 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.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “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?” 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.”
Or: LUKE 10:38-42
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
Martha’s Ways
“Jesus loved Martha, her sister (Mary), and Lazarus,” declares John (11:5). This statement tells us of the intimate relationship Jesus had with this family. We have accounts of three visits of Jesus to them (Luke 10: 38-42, John 11:1-53, & John 12: 1-9). Martha would have been the life of the party when they all got together. There is something very earthy and deeply sincere about Martha’s interactions with Jesus. She does not hold anything back. She lets Jesus know her mind – as did Abraham and Moses, when they talked to God face to face as friends did. In the brief encounter we have between Jesus and Martha, we have a mirror to her soul: She lets Jesus know her disappointment that he didn’t reach early, but she also lets him know that she trusts him to do something even if late. With no hesitation she declares her faith in Christ. How wonderful it is to have such authentic freedom to express ourselves in our prayer before God! However, we must find time to sit at the foot of Jesus (in the Blessed Sacrament) and, JUST, LISTEN – like Mary.
– That the Spirit of Christ may inspire our leaders of the Church with prophetic zeal to lead our people to true Christian freedom, we pray:
– That there may be prophets also among us today, however annoying we may find them, to remind us of what God expects of us, we pray:
– That the world of today may not turn a deaf ear to the voices of prophets who plead for peace and justice for all, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
In every Eucharist
your Son Jesus serves us at his table.
Let him fill us with the love and dedication
needed to wait on our brothers and sisters
without imposing ourselves,
but in all simplicity,
because we know that in them we are serving
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, in this Eucharist
your Son Jesus Christ has nourished us
with the bread of resurrection and life.
Strengthened by this food,
may we live as your people
called to rise already in this life
above our failures and sins
and may we also raise up one another
to bring about together a better world
where love and justice prevail.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
We should learn to listen to prophets, people who have something to say that is perhaps not pleasing but to the point. And we too, should have the courage to speak up when needed, especially when we see injustice done to people. May Almighty God give you this courage and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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