Fifth Sunday of Lent – 29th March
I believe that the story unfolds in two ways which address both our hearts and our minds. In addressing Martha and Mary they make the same comment, “If you had been here our brother would not have died.” They receive two very different responses. Martha is engaged with at the level of faith and belief which draws to us our attention to our eternal worth. Mary is engaged with at the level of hope and charity which seeks out the person in the midst of their suffering. It is through our prayerful engagement with the reality expressed by both of these women that we discover freedom which is focused on life more than death. It calls us to discover peace within us which not only values each human life, but which also values our own. In these difficult times, it is often possible to focus on material external things rather than discovering a treasure which lies within us. We are called to be people who are able to each day come to silence so that we can be open to God and to each other. By looking for that silent still place we notice how we transform not only our own hearts but also the hearts around us.
Over the next few weeks and maybe months we can often become caught up with what the news agencies and the government provides us with, the welfare of our community and ourselves. In isolation, we need to be well informed so that we are able to care for ourselves and each other. Yet in that isolation, we also need to find creative ways in which we can be connected. This is important so that we do not become trapped by our feelings of being overwhelmed. There is a call to notice how even in the most difficult circumstances we can become a people of faith, hope and love in the way we are present to God and to each other.
Fr. John Armstrong