Archive for January 14th, 2023

Luke 8:1-3: God’s Yardstick – The Women

Out of Their Meanswomen_of_the_bible__image_4_sjpg1102

Saturday, January 14, 2023

In these opening days of a new year, we look for ways to better see God’s yardstick in our lives, and for ways to leave the world’s yardstick behind.

Their names are scattered through old and new scriptures: Tamar, Lydia, Dinah, Eunice, Dorcas, Eve, Miriam, Joanna, Abigail, Martha, Anna, Leah, Bathsheba, Salome, and so many other women, most of them nameless, who bring life to history just as they bring life to the human race. Today we remember a favorite from 2010 in which we contemplate the women in Jesus’ life.

Recently a friend and I shared ideas about on 1 Corinthians 14:34-36 in which women are admonished to be quiet in church and to communicate ideas through their husbands only.  Their voice was not welcomed in the early church; they were to keep silent . . . and subordinate. And if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home.  For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church. 

In some cases, women have come a long way from this statement; in other cases, they have taken a step backward. In some cultures, women are murdered to eliminate them from the lives of the men who want to re-marry, or because men have taken them only for their dowry. The women of Corinth are not at all like the women in today’s reading who sustain the itinerate Jesus and his followers “out of their means”. The Galilean women who accompany Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem become witnesses to his death (23,49) and resurrection (24,9-11) . . . The association with the ministry of Jesus is most unusual in the light of the attitude of first-century Palestinian Judaism toward women.  (Senior 113)

Despite other views, Jesus calls women to step out of the shadows so that he might show the world how to treat them.  We are accustomed to hearing litanies of patriarchs, forgetting that it was women who brought each one into being, not remembering that it was women who nursed and nurtured the adult male heroes and judges as young boys.  In our 21st century Western world we must pause to reflect on women, their status, their intrinsic value, their overt worth, and their ultimate significance in the best story ever told, the story of our rescue, salvation and transformation.
logo1-women-in-the-bible-and-women-christian-saintsWe may want to scan fifty or so pages of scripture at a time to look for the names of women, to read the footnotes and commentary, and to smile as we reflect on how much Jesus loved the women in his life. Or we may look at John 20:11-13 and Matthew 9:18-26 to find God’s yardstick in the lives of the women who accompany Jesus.

Not all women are positive figures. Jezebel and Delilah are two who come to mind as having a negative effect on history. Go to the Women in the Bible site at http://www.womeninthebible.net/ and explore the life of just one woman. Consider how she shows us God’s yardstick. And consider how we today reflect this measure of God’s goodness in the world.

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.113. Print.   

Images from: http://christianimagesource.com/women_of_the_bible_g200.html and https://fineartamerica.com/contests/women-in-the-bible-and-women-christian-saints.html

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