Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy: Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and the Love of Jesus

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*Image: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), c. 1580 [Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany]

By Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., The Catholic Thing, July 29, 2022

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, is a former member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is the second volume of Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Gospel of John.

For years, I’ve thought that today’s memorial to St. Martha should include the entire “family” – Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.  So, I was pleased when Pope Francis, in 2021, established an obligatory memorial honoring all three.  They exemplify a “family” of love for one another and for Jesus, as well as Jesus’ love for them, particularly for Lazarus.  The trio, nonetheless, poses something of a mystery.

All are adults, yet none is married – quite unusual given the Jewish culture of their day.  In Luke, Martha is portrayed as the active head of the household. Luke speaks of Martha welcoming Jesus into “her house,” while Mary is depicted as the contemplative sister. …