The Blessings of Women

Luke 8: 1-3
1 Tim 6: 2c-12 / Psa 49

The Twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases…
(Luke 8:2)

How often we take them for granted,
Even as they take up the slack;
But when absent they are so wanted,
And we realize how much we lack.

Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, preaching and 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 Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their own resources. (Luke 8:1-3)

Reflection

Among the evangelists, Luke is the Gospel writer most noted for giving importance to the role of women in the life of our Lord Jesus. Nowhere in the other Gospel accounts is this passage found about the women providing Jesus and His companions provisions out of their own resources. It gives us a clearer picture on how Jesus and His apostles were able to travel from one town or village to another proclaiming the Good News without the means to support themselves. They were well provided for by these women, who probably also took the initiative to seek contributions from other people as well. This was probably how this tradition started, of which St. Paul would later write about: “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” (1Cor.9:14) The ladies in church continue this traditional collection before the offertory.

Up to the very end of His life, Jesus would find great consolation from the fidelity and courage of the women who followed Him. Except for the beloved apostle John, there was no mention of the disciples of Jesus on His way to Calvary. Only “a large number of people (who) followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Lk. 23:27-28)

The women stayed on in Calvary even when Jesus had already died. St. Luke wrote: “The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment” (Lk.24:10-11). It was also the women followers of Jesus who first witnessed His resurrection. “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense” (Lk.24:10-11).

As we reflect on today’s Gospel reading, it seems to tell us that our sisters in the ministry are our vital partners in evangelization. Why should we worry if our brotherhood is being overwhelmed by women? Their ancestors have shown the important roles that women have played in the course of our Church history. In fact, when our community opened an outreach in Gen. Santos, South Cotabato, who took charge of where the money would be coming from? Who prepared the meals and snacks? Who handled 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 us in the field if our women did not come along. We can only praise God for our very reliable partners in mission.

We thank You, Father God for the example of our Mother Mary, and all other saints like the Magdalene, St. Therese, and Mother Teresa, who have shown us that there is no distinction between men and women, because we are all Your children. Amen.

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