The biblical sisters Mary and Martha, as well as all mystic wives
Surely everyone remembers from the Gospel the biblical story about the sisters Mary and Martha. When the Lord came to visit them, the elder sister Martha, as a true woman, took first care of the food and began to set the table.She expressed the joy of meeting the Lord with active care, so when she saw her younger sister, “idly” sitting at the Savior’s feet, Martha was indignant in spirit and turned to Jesus reproachfully: why does He not react to the fact that Mary does not help her?
Good honor to Mary
The Lord’s answer was unexpected for Martha, since He not only did not support her, but also praised Mary, saying that Mary had chosen for herself a good honor. That is, people who can not only listen to God's Word, but also keep it, those who can be distracted from the vain world and at least from time to time devote themselves to God, pray, stay in Divine services, follow the right path.
This does not mean that the Lord condemned Martha, he equally loved both Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus, whom he resurrected on the fourth day after his death. This instructive story is a case in point for all who want to achieve the ultimate goal of Christianity - the kingdom of heaven. Real Christians should combine an active and contemplative life.
There is another story about the sisters Martha and Mary in the Gospel concerning the resurrection of their brother Lazarus, whom the Lord loved. After Lazarus
resurrected, the sufferings of the Lord began, since the Jewish high priests decided on meanness — the murder of Jesus Christ. The sisters, among other women (they are also called the myrrh-bearing wives) remained faithful to the Lord to the end, were not afraid to die with Him or to be ridiculed, to go to jail. They ascended to Calvary, and on the third day after the crucifixion in the morning anointed the body of their Savior with the precious world.
For their love and loyalty, Mary and Martha, like other myrrh-bearing wives, were rewarded. Then the joyful message waited for them: the Lord is risen! They first learned about it and gave it to the apostles.
These simple women turned out to be stronger than the spirit of the apostles and other men. It has long been noted that, in the face of grave dangers, it is women who inspire their husbands and sons to the exploits. Earlier, and to the present, many more women than men come to Christian churches at ministries. In the days of Soviet atheism, many Orthodox churches defended, that is, they did not give up for destruction, ordinary women, grandmothers in white kerchiefs.
There is an icon of myrrh-bearing women, including Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Maria Kleopova, and other women who served the Lord. Commemoration of these holy wives is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter.
The concept of pilgrimage in our day has lost its original meaning. In ancient times, pilgrims to holy places prepared in advance for the trip, which could last a year or more. Many died on the way, not enduring a long transition and numerous deprivations. Nowadays in just a few hours you can fly to Jerusalem, the Holy Mountain and touch the shrine.
Currently, the pilgrimage agency "Marfa and Maria" specializes in organizing pilgrim trips along rare routes.Thanks to them, everyone can attend services, confess, take communion and touch the Holy Mysteries.
For pilgrims in the monasteries built hotels, rooms where you can relax and spend the night, they are fed in a common refectory. Real Christians, going on pilgrimage, should not think about comfort, but limit themselves in everything, fasting. If there is an opportunity, then it is better at this time to stay in solitude, pray, concentrate on service, only then you can get the benefit of the trip.
"Martha and Maria" - pilgrimage service
Before you go on a pilgrimage, you need to get all the details of the trip from the organizers, pay attention to the brand of the excursion bus, ask about the rates for services in advance. It is important to go on a pilgrimage with a priest and with pilgrims who are close in spirit. Often there are unforeseen situations on trips that only a priest can resolve.
Visiting monasteries, worshiping the shrine, attending long monastic services is the path chosen by all believers in Russia from time immemorial.It is necessary only to remember that one should rely first of all on God's help.