Today is the feast day of St. Martha, a woman who was a friend of Jesus (along with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus). I have a special place in my heart for her as she is patron saint for many things hospitality. I majored in hospitality, and since high school have made my way through working in restaurants and hotels, to making hospitality an ingrained part of my life.
I strive to “be hospitable” as 1 Peter says, and I look to St. Martha for intercession. I ask for a good balance of serving our Lord and serving others, while also being at peace with simply sitting at the feet of Jesus.
This painting above by Henryk Siemiradzki is my favorite depiction of St. Martha, looking at Jesus and her sister Mary. I first encountered this image on my 22nd birthday (which also was Easter my senior year of college – a truly wonderful day in my life). Two friends of mine framed the novena to St. Martha with this image, and it has stuck with me ever since.
I can’t quite explain why it moves me so much, but just Martha’s gaze on Jesus as she takes a brief pause from her work lifts my spirit. It reminds me that all we do must be rooted in our Lord. I can often forget this. But without being filled up from the one who is the source of all life, we cannot hope to achieve much good in this world.
St. Martha, pray for us.