Reflection for Friday, September 20, 2002: 24th week in Ordinary Time.
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Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Mag'dalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means." ||Luke 8: 1-3||Women were THERE!! They were there! Not only there, but women provided the resources to support Jesus' entourage!! |Women were an integral part of Jesus' ministry-they too were disciples!|Why is it so important to me that women were there? Why do I feel the need to shout that fact from the rooftops? And repeat the message again ... and again ... and again? Why? Don't I know that Jesus came to liberate us all? That the good news he embodied as well as preached was radically inclusive, that it applied (and applies today) to all-women as well as men?|Of course, I know that ... but then ... I live in a world filled with institutions, actions, and symbols that enact a very different reality-one of women as less than men ... less valuable ... less worthy ... less respected ... less loved ... less...| --a world where adult women and girls are disproportionately victims of violence and abuse;| --a world where language and language use often render women and their experience invisible; |--a world where women's stories are considered less real, less trustworthy than men's; |--a world where women still receive unequal pay;| --a world where women are still largely excluded from key positions and decisions;| --a world where women are still-2,000 years after Jesus walked the earth with this entourage in today's scripture-devalued and diminished as persons.|Those messages have a way of breaking through ... getting inside ... teaching lessons that diminish and undermine women's sense of their own value. And, few women are immune to that message-even when we know ourselves to be fully competent and try our best to ignore it ... to be all that we were created to be.|So-o, yes!! I feel the need to shout, "The women were there! They were there!" They were there because Jesus, God Incarnate, made visible and explicit God's love for women as well as men. Jesus included women-as whole persons. Jesus acted upon his knowledge that women too are created in God's image and likeness. We too are worthy disciples. We too are loved unconditionally by God. Thanks be to God!
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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