Women in the Eyes of Jesus

Luke 13: 10-17
Rom 8:12-17 / Psa 68

…should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
(Luke 13:16)

Of women, this all men must learn:
In numbers they showed more concern
To Jesus, bent by our sins’ weight,
Was urged on by their steadfast faith.

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then He put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When He said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things He was doing. (Luke 13: 10-17)

Reflection

There was a very important matter in Jewish society that needed to be straightened out, and Jesus saw the opportunity to do it when a woman bent with a crippling disease entered the synagogue that Sabbath day. He called the crippled woman “a daughter of Abraham” to emphasize that women are as much children of God and heirs of heaven as men are. Jesus had always healed both men and women without any distinction. He cured Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt.8:15), an official’s daughter, and a woman with a hemorrhage (Mt.9:22,25). He did not turn away a Canaanite woman whose daughter was possessed (Mt.15:28), and out of pity for a widow raised her dead son at Nain (Lk.7:12-15). He never condemned any of them who came to Him in repentance (Lk.7:48), but showed them mercy and compassion. The foremost apostles of our Lord wrote about how all men must show love and respect to their women. St. Peter said, “You husbands should live with your wives in understanding, showing honor to the weaker female sex, since we are joint heirs of the gift of life.” (1 Pet.3:7) St. Paul intoned the same message: “He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body” (Eph.5:28-29).

Men sometimes think that just because we are the head of our household, we can treat our wives like our subordinates. On the contrary, our Lord teaches us that we must always accord them with love, fidelity, honor and respect. After all, we came from, were born and nourished by women. They only deserve our highest esteem.

Yesterday (Sunday) was our Sabbath day. So how did we make it holy? Did we show a little concern for that bent woman begging at the church entrance as Jesus did? Or was our money for her decent meal too much of a sacrifice? Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Mt.12:7). It is not in sacrifice or in the observance of laws or rites that sanctifies our day or our life. It is in showing mercy and compassion to the weakest of God’s children. Women have always been taken advantage of because of their weakness. Let us continue to honor the most blessed of women during this month dedicated to our Lord’s Mother, Mary. We can make this pledge by treating all women like our very own mother or sister.

Father God, You created women so that all men may know the pleasure of love, the stability of family, and the comfort of home. Thank You for all mothers, sisters, wives and daughters, for without them, life in this world would have been totally dull and meaningless. Bless all the women in our lives, for they are to us Your greatest blessings. Amen.

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