Friday, XXIV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Women in Christ’s Mission

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 15:12-20; Ps:17; Gos: Lk 8:1-3

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today is the Friday of the twenty-fourth week of ordinary time. In today’s gospel, Luke presents a fascinating image of the inclusive and universal nature of the ministry of Christ.

He also gives good evidence of why his gospel was addressed to all nations beyond the Jewish patriarchal system that oppressed women.

In addition to the twelve apostles, Luke tells us that these women accompanied Christ during his preaching crusades.

A critical insight that Luke gives us today is that some of these women were delivered from different problems. So, in appreciation to God, they decided to offer their lives totally for his mission.

Indeed, they were wholly delivered from their problems and were capable of making an independent living. Instead, they offered their lives and services in gratitude to God.

Another important insight is that apart from those healed, Luke adds: “And many others who provided for them out of their resources.

That means, among these “feminine disciples” who collaborated with Christ in his ministry were prominent and wealthy women who had enough to support the work of God.

Through this, the women contributed to the preaching and spread of the good news. Indeed, they may not be preachers or prophetesses themselves, but they sustained the movement of the good news through their support.

It is important to note that while other gospels described the appearance of women in this narrative, only Luke informs us that they “served” Jesus and the twelve with their resources during his public ministry.

Sadly, some scholars accuse Luke of being patriarchal by arguing that he portrayed the women as “mere servers.” However, given the general background and audience of Luke’s gospel, his message is simple: Women played an essential role in the ministry of Christ.

So, the women in today’s gospel symbolize the thousands of women (lay and religious) who serve Christ’s Church all over the world in different professions and at various capacities.

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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