Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
When most people think of Martha, they probably think of the story where Jesus visited her at home with her sister Mary. Mary was sitting with Jesus and enjoying his company while Martha was running around being the anxious host. Martha was doing all of the work to make sure that Jesus’ stay was comfortable, but she felt unnoticed and unappreciated. She could not understand why Jesus was not speaking up and asking Mary to help her tend to the house! Martha was well-intentioned in trying to love the Lord through her work, but she failed to recognize that Jesus was inviting her to a new type of love: a love where she could simply rest in his presence.
One of my favorite things about Martha is how bold she was in asking Jesus for what she wants. "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" and “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. The last quote is both a statement of faith and even an accusation. Martha was mourning the loss of her brother Lazarus and essentially told Jesus that she felt let down. Jesus could have kept Lazarus alive and he didn’t, which was devastating for Martha because she knew what Jesus was capable of.
We are all experiencing a similar feeling of loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you are a recent high school graduate that was robbed of the prom and graduation you always dreamed of. Maybe you are mourning the loss of a family member or friend. Whatever your loss is right now, the Lord is not far from it. He is not looking to give you a half-hearted pat on the back and “you won’t even care about this in heaven”. Jesus did not shush Martha and immediately raise Lazarus from the dead to end her sorrow. Instead, Jesus joined Mary and Martha in their mourning before bringing Lazarus back to life shortly after. God recognizes how painful this period of loss may be and he wants to sit alongside you in the pain. Like Mary and Martha, let us allow Jesus into our suffering and then trust that he can resurrect the situation into something beautiful.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Do I find myself simply able to rest in the Lord's presence? Why or why not?
What is something I want to boldly ask the Lord?
Where and how can I allow Jesus into my suffering?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"God is with us."
"Stay with the Lord."
"Christ is present."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Ask something bold of the Lord today.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Kristen Fanella, a student at Loras College.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.