Our Partners 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 resources.
(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. (Luke 8: 1-3)

Reflection

Today’s brief Gospel account of Luke tells much about the ministry of Jesus. First, Luke seems to emphasize the urgency of Jesus in travelling from one town and village to another, almost without rest. We read in the earlier account of Luke that when the disciples urged Jesus to return to the sick people who were waiting for Him, He responded: “I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is the reason why I was sent” (Lk. 4:43). Proclaiming the Good News was more important to Him than healing the sick and expelling evil spirits. Luke also qualified that aside from the twelve apostles who accompanied our Lord, there were also some women with Him, who perhaps owed Him a debt of gratitude for their healing, but more likely because they had also come to believe in Him as the Savior of Israel, the Messiah. Finally, Luke tells us here that the women 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 even the first to discover His empty tomb.

Luke’s Gospel for today may be telling us that our sisters in the ministry are our vital partners in evangelization. We should not worry if our brotherhood is being over-whelmed by sisters, for their ancestors have shown the important roles that women have played in the course of our Church history. When our chapter opened an outreach in South Cotabato, the brothers hardly worried about where the money would be coming from, or who would take charge of the meals and snacks, or who would be handling the secretariat of the Christian Life Programs. In these matters, the sisters were in charge, and we could only wonder what would have happened to our mission had our women not come along.

Our sisters are indispensable in many other aspects of our renewal community. They are in the frontline at the registration table. With their eye for detail, they give that special touch to the venues of our activities, especially in our liturgical celebrations. Their angelic voices give life to our praise and worship songs. And their culinary expertise is always, to say the least, heaven-sent. The presence of women in Jesus’ company affirmed their importance in His ministry. As much as our Lord loved them for their faithfulness and dedication, so too must we love and respect them, and value their ministry as a vital partnership in our mission to proclaim the Gospel.

We praise and thank You, Lord God, for our sisters and wives, our partners in our community, whose valuable help ensures the success of our missions. Like Mary Magdalene, St. Therese, Mother Teresa, and so many other saints, they have shown that there is no distinction between men and women, because we are all Your children. Amen.

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