In today’s gospel reading we witness the pain of leaving and loss. People come to greet Martha and Mary because their brother, Lazarus, has just died. However, Martha has faith even in the midst of the loss of her brother. When Martha sees that Jesus is among the people, she runs to him and tells Jesus that she believes that Lazarus would still be here if Jesus had been present. Jesus says, “whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

It seems like Jesus wants Martha to profess her inward faith in him before he goes and performs a great outward miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead. Like Martha, when we walk by faith, even in the absence of outward signs of optimism, we become symbols of hope and life to our families, neighbors, and the global community.

—Kathleen Cullen Ritter serves as Director of Campus Ministry at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, WI. She attended Marquette University and served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp in Bend, OR.