Gospel: Luke 8:1-3
Jesus walked through towns and countryside, preaching and giving the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve followed him, and also some women, who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases: Mary called Magdalene, who had been freed of seven demons; Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Suzanna; and others, who provided for them out of their own funds.
“Some women followed him.”
The gospel passage today might seem to project a diminu- tion of Jesus’ women followers, being possessed by evil spirits and being freed from demons. But the gospel writer does not intend it that way; he is simply sa- ying that among those who were healed, responded generously, and followed Jesus were women (Brendan Byrne). The passage need not be construed as portra- ying women with secondary or inferior roles to men.
Since the early Christian Church women have played an important role and have signifi- cantly impacted the proclama- tion of the good news. Some even assumed leadership roles. Their role was not limited to do- mestic services, such as cooking, washing, mending, etc. (Byrne). Nowadays, we are witness to the ever-growing involvement and invaluable contribution of lay women in different areas of Church ministry. And in some areas, they are leading the way. The giftedness of women is a vi- tal element in bringing forward the work of the Church in our modern world. The need for their active participation may not be felt in some quarters, but it is a fact that women’s giftedness has already substantially impacted the evangelizing work of the Church and proven itself worthy of the task. Women’s active par- ticipation calls for recognition and more encouragement.
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