Feast of Saint Martha
Friday, July 29, the Feast of siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany, is traditionally known as the “Cooks’ Feast Day.” Luke 10:38-42 tells us their story: Jesus was resting at his friends’ house in Bethany and speaking the Word to all the guests there, including the three saints in question. Martha, however, was busy trying to serve all the guests and see to the many details of hospitality, while her sister Mary was with the rest of the men, listening to Jesus. In typical sisterly fashion, Martha was quite aggravated at her sister’s behavior and “told on” her sister to Jesus, asking him to send her to help in the kitchen. Jesus’ reply sent shock waves down the centuries that still “zap” us today. He said, “Martha, Martha, you are busy and anxious about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken from her.”
While this Gospel passage holds many layers worthy of contemplation, we tend to focus on the – you guessed it! – the food. We all have mixed feelings toward the two sisters- was either of them totally justified in her behavior? At any rate, Jesus loved them both and valued their friendship. Martha must have been an excellent cook, and Jesus surely enjoyed the hot meal he received whenever he stayed at their home. How does that translate to us today? Well, we always try to give a little extra nudge of encouragement to the cooks of the household.
Our Residents were inspired to use this occasion to make a hand-painted sign that expresses their appreciation of our kitchen staff’s hard work and dedication. They called them together for a “meeting” and surprised them with the sign and a beautiful speech about how much they are appreciated. Their artwork remains on display on the kitchen, to thank our Cooks, Dishwashers, Dietary Aides, and Volunteers for the delicious meals that they provide day after day.