For the duration of the summer I have prayed through the intercession of both Saints, especially for the Emmanuel Community in New York.
After hearing the gospel about Martha and Mary on a mid-July Sunday, I was prompted to pray especially for our small community in New York City region. I had in mind to write an email to our brothers and sisters to suggest that we entrust the NY community for the new year by praying a Hail Mary (or decades or a rosary) a day until September 8th.
July and August being a time when we lose some continuity in our community life, I felt that it would give us a way to stay united in prayer, and to pray with trust to God for inspiration.
With work and family duties taking all of my time, even in the summer, 10 days passed before I could write the email to some EC brothers and sisters. I mentioned Martha and Mary and asked to pray until September 8th.
A day after my email was sent, on July 29, as I opened my Magnificat missal, I was amazed to see that it was Saint Martha’s feast day! I had no idea what day she was celebrated, since I never really felt close to this saint. I feel that Martha is always overshadowed by Mary’s wise attitude, Mary who chooses to sit and listen to Jesus – the “better part.” Don’t we always feel sorry for Martha (and for ourselves) for not seeing what the priority in our lives is?
This year, for the first time (I think), I heard a homily and read a comment about this gospel that gave more credit to Martha and her service. Because we need to be both Martha and Mary, to serve and to listen, to cook and to chat, to welcome and to pray.
Martha is also known for her trust in Jesus when her brother Lazarus dies. And Jesus rewards her with one of the greatest miracles: He raised Lazarus from the dead!
To realize that our community prayer was framed by important dates (St. Martha Feast Day and the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) was just a confirmation of this inspired call to both saints for their intercession.
Let us continue to pray for our Community in the US. And be Martha and Mary at the same time, using all our charisms and talents individually and as a Community.
Written by Marilys (NY)