Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jn 11:19-27 Separation Anxiety

Memorial of St. Martha
(Click here for readings)

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...Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died..."

A few lessons learned.  St. Martha learned a lot of lessons that day, especially lessons on control, serenity and peace. 

Control.  I can't control everything.  I can't even control everything in my life.  And I especially cannot control the Lord!  That's a lot of lessons in one day!

"Lord, if you had only been there..." is like saying, "Lord, if you had only listened to me or done what I asked you to do..." Then what?  Then what would happen?  Thy Will or My Will would be done?

This hunger for power and control originates from original sin, not from human nature; and it is firmly attached to our DNA.  Thank God the Lord spliced His grace into our race by the waters of baptism and tears of reconciliation. 

I can't control everything is not a sign of defeat, but the sign of peace.

Peace.  "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."  Christ's peace is different from that of the world: "Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (cf. Jn 14:27).    

And what exactly is this (His) peace?  That "all things work for good for those who love God" (cf. Rom 8:28)

At the end of every weekday Mass, I invite everyone in the pews to have "a great day."  But what exactly constitutes a great day?  Is it when everything goes according to my plan, or is it when I get everything I ever wanted?  Hardly.  In both cases, we would be far from God's idea of a great day.

"Thy Will be Done on earth as it is in heaven."  This is a great day!  Good Friday was a great day!  Holy Sunday is a great day!  Whenever my heart and mind are aligned to Christ's heart and mind; well, it could be the most painful day ever in my life and still be the greatest day ever in my life!

A great day is a blessed day, regardless of the outcome.

Martha learned this lesson the hard way.  Through the death of her beloved brother, she verbalized a secret she had held close to her heart: the identity of Jesus of Nazareth.  "I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God."

Even if Lazarus had never come back to life, Martha understood what mattered most: that her Savior lived. 

This is a peace that only Christ can give.

Serenity.  I like the Serenity prayer, but I don't love it.  I am not a big fan of it because it reads too much like a golden parachute; a sweet agreement between God and man (employee) specifying what benefits and graces the employee (man) will receive. 

Did Martha accept the death of her brother with "serenity" and "reasonable happiness"? I think she did, especially when she told the Lord, "I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day." 

But then look what happened.  She saw him rise from the dead! 

So much for accepting the inevitable. 

Martha's serenity did not come from her knowledge of what she could and could not change, but from her knowledge of who could and could not work miracles.

Another lesson well learned.

St. Martha pray for us! 


  1. Personally, I take much comfort in the Serenity Prayer. I don't see it as a "golden parachute" at all. The first line "God, grant me serenity to accept the things I can't change" gives me strength. Many times I fret and worry just like St. Martha! I want things to be perfect and work out exactly the way I expect them to. I become frustrated when I want something to change, in order to relieve the stress and burden, but I'm still stuck in an uncomfortable situation. I can't stand the pressure and anxiety. I think I need help .... and help pronto!

    To me the greatest day of the week is the Sunday Mass when I can pray as one in community and receive the Holy Eucharist. The rest of the week may be mediocre and boring, but I have Sunday to look forward to! Sometimes when I can make it to a Daily Mass, that's an extra bonus.

    It's difficult not to want to control our own lives, especially for those of us who are fiercely independent. My wonderful mother taught me at a young age to be a strong woman. Take control and be in charge of my own destiny. Yet, trying to control everything on my own is a huge effort. It's a lot of unnecessary stress I just don't need. When I hand over control to God, I suddenly feel relief! My aches and pains go away. My anxiety settles down. I realize that trying to control every part of my life, and the life of others, is not in line with Christ's mission. He desires to help us in our every day struggles. He already has our destiny planned out for us. When we go against his divine will, we encounter resistance. We have to learn to let go and hand over everything to the Lord!

    St. Martha could have remained skeptical of her brother's resurrection, concluding miracles didn't exist and that somehow Lazarus rose from the dead as a result of sorcery, paganism, or some reason other than an act of God. Fortunately, she listened to Jesus all along! I'm sure she overheard the conversations between Jesus and Mary while sweating away in the kitchen. Maybe she huffed and puffed out of frustration for not receiving domestic help, but she still learned valuable lessons. When it came time for the miracle of Lazarus to take place, she already had gained enough "wisdom" from Jesus to acknowledge him as the Christ "coming into the world." He is the Resurrection and the Life!



  2. I, like Jennifer, really appreciate the wisdom of the Serenity prayer. It relates back to the earlier comments on wisdom and holiness between Father and Anonymous. Wisdom Is having a proper relationship with God. We do this when we understand that He is God and we are not and when we surrender our will completely to His. Through this, we can be holy and enter into the Divine Life. We can then become an empty vessel filled only with Christ. Alter Christus, Father?

    There is a line that follows in the passage that has, of late, been standing out to me.
    "But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you. " I used think that this meant that Martha was saying that even now Jesus could still ask God to raise Lazarus even though it had been 4 days. Perhaps it does. Lately, however, I think Martha immediately recognized that what Jesus would ask of God would be proper and according to God's will. Why? Because Jesus had united his will with that of the Father. The whole dialogue is vaguely reminiscent of Jesus in the garden. "Father, not my will be done, but yours."

    This is the greatest challenge for us, We want to think we are mini-gods. When we recognize we are not, we search, and try to fill ourselves with "Something Other Than God." But, Christ is the answer. We just need the gift of wisdom to help us recognize it.


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