• 29 Jul 21

Jul 29 - “St. Martha and Mary” © artwork by July Lonneman. Happy Feast Day St. Martha!

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In a time when women did not enjoy the same status and rights as men, Jesus continually reached out to women in his ministry and counted them among his disciples. Mary and Martha, along with their brother Lazarus, followed and served Jesus as his friends and disciples.

Perhaps the most well known story surrounding the two women is found in the Gospel of Luke. While traveling with his apostles, Jesus came to the sisters' house where Martha, probably the head of the house, welcomed him. While Martha busied herself with serving the guests, Mary took a seat at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching. This was an important action because it was the act of a disciple and showed that Jesus encouraged women to follow and learn from him.

Martha, however, was concerned with getting her work done and wished that Mary would help her. Jesus supported Mary's decision to sit with him and told Martha not to worry so much about her work. This story is often interpreted as describing the differences between a life of contemplation and prayer and a life of actions. It is unclear, though, if the story is intended to favor one woman over the other. Most important is the fact that Jesus welcomed women to follow him as disciples.

Her feast day is July 29.

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