Welcome home, Aunt Martha!
Moving along the family tree in Our Church Family, I want to call your attention to one of the favorite members of family, our Aunt Martha. First written of in Luke's Gospel, the stories and preachings about our first Aunt Martha is hard for many of the other Marthas in our church family to hear. These women who identify with Martha feel like their work is belittled or unappreciated when told they need to be "more like Mary". At the same time, the Marthas of our church family must not forget the other gospel stories which exult works done by women in Church: the woman who washed Jesus feet (Luke 7:36-50), the women who attended to Jesus' s body at the tomb (Mark 16:1), our Blessed Mother Mary's work at wedding of canna John 2:3), etc. There is no contradiction in the Gospels, Therefore, the story of Martha and Mary is not a story about definition or subjugation. This gospel message speaks of balance between exterior and interior work. It is absolutely true that we need Marthas in our church! At the same time, we must also encourage those women and men who do so much work for the Church to do the hardest work of all, sitting at the feet of Jesus. For many - myself especially - the practice of interior and exterior silence can be very difficult. However, if 75% of woman in the United States continue to identify themselves as Christian, then we must find a way to welcome the Marthas of our Church. We are blessed here at Holy Rosary to have so many amazing Marthas in our community. Most of our parishioners may not even know their names, but we see them teaching our children at the Catechesis of the Good Shepard, serving tables at Wednesday luncheons, or even walking around Holy Rosary Church picking up this or straightening that. Therefore, we at Holy Rosary want to welcome, encourage, and support the Aunt Marthas amongst us as you continue your support and love Our Church Family!
-Br. James Martin Nobles, O.P.