Women in Mission

Luke 8: 1-3
1 Cor 15: 12-20 / Ps 17: 1, 6-8, 15

These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
(Luke 8: 3)

We’ll never lack for provision,
With wives and sisters in our team;
They are our partners in mission,
Worthy of our love and esteem.

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Reflection

From Luke’s account, it appears that the female disciples of our Lord played a very important role in providing for the needs of the group of Jesus as they travelled from one town and village to another. While the apostles and other male disciples kept the crowds under control and helped Jesus while He ministered to the sick and the possessed, the women must have taken care of seeking provisions and lodgings, as well as raising funds from the crowds as well as from their own resources. In the three years of our Lord’s ministry, these three short verses in Luke’s Gospel briefly abut clearly explain how our Lord and His disciples could have been provided for in their ministry.

Our sister/wives in the Brotherhood are our vital partners in evangelization. We should not worry if our brotherhood is being “overrun” by women, because even the Old Testament is rich with accounts of the important roles women have played in the course of Church history. There is the widow Judith in the time of the great conqueror Nebuchadnazar, whose powerful general Holofernes was outwitted by Judith, thereby saving her country from ruin. We are moved by the story of Ruth, faithful and true to her mother-in-law Naomi, and later to her husband Boaz. Then there is Esther, (Book of Esther) who saved her people from total annihilation. There are many other women in the Bible who are worthy of emulation, and the greatest of them all is our Blessed Mother Mary.

The presence of women in Jesus’ company affirmed their importance in His ministry. They not only accompanied Jesus, but also gave support to Him and His apostles out of their own means. These were the very women who fearlessly accompanied Jesus to Calvary, and stood by Him at the cross. Some of them were also the first to discover His empty tomb.

As much as our Lord loved the women for their faithfulness and dedication, so too must we love and respect our female counterparts in our community. We must value their ministry as a vital partnership in our mission to proclaim the Gospel.

We praise and thank You, Father God, for our sisters and wives, our partners in our community, whose valuable help ensures the success of our life’s mission. May the example of our Mother Mary, and all other saints like St. Mary Magdalene, St. Therese, and Mother Teresa, show us that there is no distinction between men and women, because we are all Your children. Amen.

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