Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gospel for Friday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor

From: Luke 8:1-3

The Holy Women
[1] Soon afterward He (Jesus) went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the Good News of the Kingdom of God. And the Twelve were with Him, [2] and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, [3] and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

1-3. The Gospel refers a number of times to women accompanying our Lord. Here St. Luke gives us the names of three of them--Mary, called Magdalene, to whom the risen Christ appeared beside the Holy Sepulchre (John 20:11-18; Mark 16:9); Joanna, a lady of some position, whom we also meet among the women who went to the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection (Luke 24:10), and Susanna, whom the Gospel does not mention again. The role of these women consisted in helping Jesus and His disciples out of their own resources, thereby showing their gratitude for what Christ had done for them, and in cooperating in His ministry.

Men and women enjoy equal dignity in the Church. Within the context of that equality, women certainly have specific characteristics which must necessarily be reflected in their role in the Church: "All the baptized, men and women alike, share equally in the dignity, freedom and responsibility of the children of God.... Women are called to bring to the family, to society and to the Church, characteristics which are their own and which they alone can give--their gentle warmth and untiring generosity, their love for detail, their quick-wittedness and intuition, their simple and deep piety, their constancy.... A woman's femininity is genuine only if she is aware of the beauty of this contribution for which there is no substitute--and if she incorporates it into her own life" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 14 and 87).

The Gospel makes special reference to the generosity of these women. It is nice to know that our Lord availed Himself of their charity, and that they responded to Him with such refined and generous detachment that Christian women feel filled with a holy and fruitful envy (cf. [St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 981).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

No comments: