Luke 7:36-50 24th Week in Ordinary Time
September 15, 2020
Luke 8:1-13
September 16, 2020

Luke 8:1-13

24th Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Luke 8:1-13

A. Text/Context

  • The gospel today is telling us about the important roles of women who accompany Jesus in his ministry
  • At this point in time there are now some women accompanying Jesus in his ministry; women who are healed from their sickness, or widowed from their marriage and they are now serving and supporting Jesus in his preaching ministry through the wealth they inherited
  • This is something very unique considering the strict boundaries of culture in Palestine at that time especially the standards of morality and decency of the Jewish people
  • We all know very well that the women and the children have very little rights in the Jewish society
  • Apart from that the rules of the segregation of the sexes are very strict; men are not allowed to talk to women in front of the public, men and women are separated during pilgrimage, temple worship and many others
  • And now, it is very surprising that the women are now in company with Jesus in his ministry! Due to the limited rights of women it is even scandalous that they will leave their homes and go with men on travel
  • There is something very important why did Jesus allow this even if it breaks the norms of their culture
  • It is now very clear and obvious that Jesus goes beyond the boundaries of culture for the sake of giving liberty to those who have suffered from cultural bias. Jesus looks at these women from the heart and not on their social status

B. Human Situation

  • At that time, the women including the children, the old people, the widows belong to the discriminated social groups
  • But this time, Jesus gives the example of how they must be treated as human beings with all the rights and privileges in society
  • There is Mary Magdalene who hails from the town of Magdala, a very prosperous fishing port where the products of exports are dried fish
  • Jesus healed her from demonic possession by expelling 7 dark spirits. This is also interpreted by the scholars as the 7 capital sins. It is through Mary Magdalene that God showed his immense power that the kingdom of God is at hand by expelling 7 demons
  • Mary Magdalene became the first woman apostle reaching as far as the Country of France preaching
  • As St. Paul emphasized in the 1st reading the resurrection of Jesus. There are sectors in Jewish society who do not believe in the resurrection
  • Mary Magdalene is merited according to tradition that she is instrumental in the conversion of Emperor Tiberius in Rome in believing the resurrection of Jesus (we recall that Mary Magdalene discovered the empty tomb and Jesus first appeared to her after the resurrection)
  • There is also Joanna, the wife of the steward of Herod Antipas Chuza, who is the manager of the wealth of his master, and there is also Susanna and many others who provided for them because they have resources, and they can afford, all in support of Jesus as well as women who are poor

C. Challenge

  • Jesus has shown to us that those who are excluded from society are elevated to a status of equality
  • God does not choose who will serve him women or men, rich or poor, they are all welcome
  • In the eyes of God, the externals are not important, the titles, the reputation in society, God looks at his children from the heart, there is no separation of the sexes, no old people, no nobody
  • In the gospel, Jesus has empowered women and returned back to them their dignity to serve
  • This is a reminder for all of us, that what we are now, with all the education that we get, with all the positions of authority we are in, does not mean that we are of an advantage compared to those who have less
  • God has no distinctions

 

 

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