Friday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
creator and guide,
serve you with all our hearts
your forgiveness in our lives.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Reading - Luke 8,1-3
happened that Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching and
proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.
went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits
and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided
for them out of their own resources.
• In today’s Gospel we
have the continuation of yesterday’s episode which spoke about the surprising
attitude of Jesus with regard to women, when he defends the woman, who was
known in the town as a sinner, against the criticism of the Pharisee. Now at
the beginning of chapter 8, Luke describes Jesus who goes through the villages
and towns of Galilee and the novelty is that he was not only accompanied by the
disciples, but also by the women disciples.
• Luke 8, 1: The
Twelve who follow Jesus. In one phrase alone, Luke describes the situation:
Jesus goes through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the Good News
of the Kingdom of God and the Twelve are with him. The expression “to follow
Jesus” (cf. Mk 1, 18; 15, 41) indicates the condition of the disciple who
follows the Master, twenty-four hours a day, trying to imitate his example and
to participate in his destiny.
• Luke 8, 2-3: The
women follow Jesus. What surprises is that at the side of the men there are
also women “together with Jesus”. Luke places both the men and the women
disciples at the same level because all of them follow Jesus. Luke has also
kept some of the names of some of these women disciples: Mary Magdalene, born
in the town of Magdala. She had been cured, and delivered from seven demons;
Joanna, the wife of Chuza, steward of Herod Antipa, who was Governor of
Galilee; Suzanne and several others. It is said that they “served Jesus with
their own goods” Jesus allows a group of women “to follow” him (Lk 8, 2-3; 23,
49; Mk 15, 41). The Gospel of Mark when speaking about the women at the moment
of Jesus’ death says: “There were some women who were observing at a distance
and among them Mary of Magdala, Mary, the mother of James the younger and
Joset, and Salome, who followed him and served him when he was still in
Galilee, and many others who had gone up with him to Jerusalem (Mk 15, 40-41).
Mark defines their attitude with three words: to follow, to serve, to go up to
Jerusalem. The first Christians did not draw up a list of these women disciples
who followed Jesus as they had done with the twelve disciples. But in the pages
of the Gospel of Luke the name of seven of these women disciples are mentioned:
Mary Magdalene, Jeanna, wife of Chuza, Suzanne (Lk 8, 3), Martha and Mary (Lk
10, 38), Mary, the mother of James (Lk 24, 10) and Anna, the prophetess (Lk 2,
36), who was eighty-four years old. Number eighty-four is seven times twelve:
the perfect age! The later Ecclesiastical tradition does not value this fact
about the discipleship of women with the same importance with which it values
the following of Jesus on the part of men. It is a sin!
Gospel of Luke has always been considered as the Gospel of women. In fact, Luke
is the Evangelist who presents the largest number of episodes in which he
underlines the relationship of Jesus with the women, and the novelty is not
only in the presence of the women around Jesus, but also and, above all, in the
attitude of Jesus in relation to them. Jesus touches them and allows them to
touch him without fear of being contaminated (Lk 7, 39; 8, 44-45.54). This was
different from the teachers of that time, Jesus accepts women who follow him
and who are his disciples (Lk 8, 2-3; 10, 39). The liberating force of God,
which acts in Jesus, allows women to raise and to assume their dignity (Lk 13,
13). Jesus is sensitive to the suffering of the widow and is in solidarity with
her sorrow (Lk 7, 13). The work of the woman who prepares the meal is
considered by Jesus like a sign of the Kingdom (Lk 13, 20-21). The insistent
widow who struggles for her rights is considered the model of prayer (Lk 18,
1-8), and the poor widow who shares the little that she has with others is the
model of dedication and donation (Lk 21, 1-4). At a time when the witness of
women is not accepted as something valid, Jesus accepts women and considers
them witnesses of his death (Lk 23, 49), of his burial (Lk 22, 55-56) and of
his resurrection (Lk 24, 1-11. 22-24).
• How is woman considered
in your community, in your country, in your Church?
• Compare the attitude of
our Church with the attitude of Jesus.
examine me and know my heart,
and know my concerns.
that I am not on my way to ruin,
me on the road of eternity. (Ps 139,23-24)