18 September, Friday — Supporting roles

Friday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time

1 Cor 15:12-20
Lk 8:1-3

“Jesus made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments…”

God works in mysterious ways. If anyone ever had the idea that God isn’t cool, isn’t a pioneer or isn’t inclusive, just read the Gospels and look at Jesus’ works.

During Jesus’ time, women did not have many rights in many cultures (including the Jewish one).  They were often not educated (at least the non-elite), not able to work nor support themselves, as their main role was seen as domestic — that of a wife and mother.  

The women in the Gospel today were probably shunned because evil spirits dwelled in them and because of their ailments. In other words, they were probably discards from society.  

Now look at how Jesus treated them. Not only did He cure the women of their ailments, He cast out the demons in them. He didn’t stop there and send them on their merry way. He didn’t dismiss them because they were women and ostracized by society. No, Jesus included them in His ministry along with the twelve disciples. Yes, they probably didn’t evangelize in public like the other disciples, but they had supporting roles, which were just as important.  

Just as Paul mentioned in his letter to the Corinthians, there are many parts of the body, some have major roles and some minor roles, but every part is indispensable. If one part is ill, all suffer. If the head hurts, the rest of the body cannot move with ease. If the feet are broken, the body cannot move itself. The Church that Jesus established is as such. No matter our role within the Church, from deep involvement in parish council, hospitality services or prayer warriors, we all have an important part, we are brothers and sisters in Christ – we are all part of Christ’s body.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant all Christians the grace to walk with each other in faith and in love.  Help us to worship and stand in unity.

Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the gift of Jesus and His disciples. You work in marvelous ways, for you make shiny those who we would have easily dismissed.

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