By Sharon Wilson
Today is Martha’s day.
No, not Sweet Martha of the Minnesota State Fair Chocolate Chip Cookie fame, but St. Martha of the Martha, and her sister Mary, of Bethany, fame.
I have always identified with Martha and her inability to keep her thoughts to herself. People have told me that I speak my mind. That is, I tend to speak the truth, and I point out the obvious. However, I have been reassured that, as a general principle, that is a good thing, I have found that it is not always received that way in practice.
It seems to me that Martha gets a bad rap for pointing out the obvious. Like when she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help out in the kitchen, and Jesus reminds Martha that Mary has chosen the better part. What was Martha to do with a houseful of company? Who’s going to feed and take care of them if she doesn’t?
But Martha wasn’t shy about speaking her mind, even to Jesus. When their brother Lazarus died, both Martha and her sister Mary were filled with grief. While Mary wept, Martha went out to meet Jesus when He arrived at their house, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21-22).
At first, glance that may sound like an admonishment from Martha to Jesus, but really, she is just stating a fact. Martha’s faith in Jesus led her to know that Jesus’ presence could have saved her brother.
She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world” (John 11:27).
Her statement showed her faith in Jesus, but her faith had a limit. Jesus blew the lid off that limit when Lazarus rose from the tomb.
My likening to Martha goes beyond our shared “telling it like we see it” and may extend to my faith life. Does my faith have its limits? It’s fine for me to pray for others and even trust God in small things, but do I really place my trust and faith in Jesus?
Do I trust him with my life?
Take a Cue from Martha
This story helps us reflect on not only the “better part” of Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus but on Martha’s actions as well. Yes, we need to pray, contemplate, and sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary, but we can also take a cue from Martha.
Martha was not afraid to speak directly to Jesus. She said it as she saw it, and because of that, she was able to see Jesus work miracles in her and others. Sometimes our truth can be ugly, but Jesus can handle it. The crazy thing is, he already knows the ugly truth. It can be easier to bring a prettied up self to Christ in prayer. We take our shortcomings, behaviors, and sins, look at them through the lens of our own best interest and offer them to Jesus with a veil to cover the worst of it.
When I feel angry or left out or sinning in some way, I know I need to take it to prayer. I might be tempted to package my situation in a way that makes me come out better. I might pray for my relationship with whomever, or I might even ask God to “fix” that another person’s behavior—oh boy, is that ever a mistake!
If I can have the courage to face my insecurities and ask God to shed light on why I am hurt or to ask God to help me trust Him so much that the only thing that matters is my relationship with Him, I am getting to the honest truth about myself. It is there that God works his miracles in me.
The next time I am tempted to shy away from the truth in my prayer (or confession), I will remember Martha and be BOLD.
Thank you, sweet Martha!
Let’s celebrate St. Martha’s Day with some Sweet Martha’s Cookies!
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups chocolate chips
- In a large mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients together.
- In a separate mixing bowl using a hand mixer, cream butter, and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Combine dry and wet ingredients. Don’t over mix. Add chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in the fridge overnight, or up to 3 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F*. To get the cookies just the right size, use a standard cookie scooper – then divide that amount in half. Place cookie dough balls evenly onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until barely done. You want to under-baked these cookies slightly so they turn out soft and gooey.
*Recipe shared from CheapRecipeblog.com
About the author:
Sharon Wilson – Wife, Mother, Writer, Catholic Speaker, and a WINE Specialist. Sharon has a degree in education and has worked as a freelance writer, Respect Life Coordinator, a teacher, in advertising, radio, buyer, and in youth advocacy – She even rode an elephant in the circus once! Sharon speaks, writes and shares about God’s healing and about the great gift of being Catholic at SharonAgnesWilson.com