Friday of the 24th Week of the Year

Luke 8:1-3

Galilean Women follow Jesus

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Tony Castle narrates of an old tower called the “Faith of women” crowning the fort in the German town of Weissberg. It was said that Emperor Conrad attacked the fortress, and the army garrison inside agreed to surrender on condition that the women should be allowed to carry away with them their choicest possessions. The emperor agreed, thinking that they would carry with them jewels and things dear to women’s hearts. Imagine his surprise when, standing at the head of his army to await their departure, he saw everyone of them carrying a husband, a brother or a sweetheart upon her shoulders. Such was the love of women.

In the male-dominated culture and society where Jesus lived, we see women in the company of Jesus. They were disciples, following him as he travelled from village to village from Galilee to Jerusalem. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susana and many other women set out with him, leaving family and home and stayed with him, listening, offering their services and resources, following him to the cross where they alone (the men-disciples fled!) saw him die.

In relating with women, Jesus broke through the cultural taboo of his time which regarded women as second class. He restored to women the dignity which was rightfully theirs as children of God. (Sr. Carmelita, SSpS, Bible Diary 2002)

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Within the background of patriarchal society, it is interesting that Jesus allows women to be part of his missionary group.

Here we have a strong indication of Jesus’ inclusive spirit which is most needed to counteract exclusivity which in turn, is the root cause of much of world’s turmoil these days.

In news about conflict, words like “ethnic cleansing”, “anti this” and “anti that” are the usual motives for war. Even terrorist bombs and suicide bombings are easily rationalized as making a “”political message” to the opposite group, clan or nation. If only people of today would rather be open to Jesus’ spirit.

I happen to witness on TV a group of women discussing the role of women in socio-economic development. It was an enlightening and lively discussion joined by the city mayor at that. It was emphasized that men ought not to be threatened by women who may excel in their field of work, but should see them as partners in the over-all progress of society. Among the phases women can contribute are: 1. Their being “natural” in the art of delivering, not just babies but also services; 2. Their “digital” disposition, i.e. they are keen on important details, be it practical or aesthetic, surely, one doesn’t have to be a feminist to affirm women’s rights and potentials. Only one has to listen and look at Jesus leading the way.

Jesus is telling us that the Word of God, sown in the field of this world will produce results in spite of all obstacles. (Fr. Stan Plutz, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Is it true that behind the success (or downfall) of every man is a woman? Today’s gospel reading records how a group of women accompanied Jesus and the Twelve apostles, especially while Jesus travelled extensively during His three years of public ministry. This was a diverse group of women; some were public sinners; others from wealthy or prominent families.

We have been told that Mary Magdalene had lived a very sinful life before Jesus freed her from seven demons. She, however, was privileged to be the first to see Jesus after the resurrection. As the wife of the King Herod’s chief financial officer, Joanna was a rich lady of the court. She was a woman who had everything.

What brought them together and united them in a bond of friendship, service and loyalty to Jesus?  Jesus and His message of the kingdom of God has surely transformed them. Unlike the apostles, who at times sought prestige and recognition, these women did not seek position or demanded acknowledgement from Jesus. He must have touched them so dearly that these women were grateful to do anything for Jesus, including menial work. They brought their gifts and resources for Jesus to use as he saw fit.

Are we more like the apostles, who were status conscious or like the women in today’s gospel reading, who were satisfied to serve Jesus quietly but generously? Do we always want to be served and given the best seats or do we not mind taking the lowly place of a servant who puts other people’s needs before our own? Jesus remains the perfect example of humble service; these women gladly imitated Him. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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In our gospel today, the women who accompanied Jesus in his journeys from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God, were those whom he cured of evil spirits and infirmities. When they encountered Jesus, their lives were changed; they moved from darkness into light and from light into the limelight of Jesus’ ministry by providing their time and financial support. Their concrete actions testified to their personal healing and commitment to follow Jesus. Therefore a blotted life is not necessarily useless life. Jesus can make a life beautiful though marred by sin. (Fr. Romeo M. Bacalso, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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People everywhere walk for a cause. Months back, a group of farmers from Sumilao, Bukidnon in Mindanao walked for weeks from the farms they were tilling to the presidential palace in Manila to dramatize their claim for a land they can call their own.

In today’s gospel, a group of twelve men and some women joined Jesus in proclaiming the good news about the Kingdom of God. they walked from one village to another, resting only under the trees to hide from the noonday sun or seeking shelter behind big rocks when strong cold winds cross their path. They got tired and hungry. But despite all these, they continued walking with Jesus. Their love for Him sustained them.

In our walk with Jesus, not the cold wind, the hot sun, the heavy rains buffet us. Instead, temptations of power, possession and prestige push against us. These temptations easily distract and even discourage us in our journey.

Let us learn from the farmers who journeyed to dramatize a very basic need for the economic security of their families. Like them, let us persist in our journey to strengthen our faith in the midst of temptation and difficulties. In the same as the apostles and some women followed Jesus, let us continue our journey with the very basic thing only, we travel light. ‘If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.”

Like Tiger Woods who excels in his sport partly because of his famous laser-like focus during golf tournament, let us have a laser-like focus as we “lay hold of eternal life,” as we continue “to compete well for the faith.” With this attitude, temptations, difficulties, anger and even death could become occasions that will help keep our focus on God. thus, with Paul we can say, “Neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, now powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Fr. Melchor Bernal, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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September 16, 2016 Friday

In today’s reading, we hear that “Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.” Jesus did this out of love and mercy.  It has been almost ten months already, since I left the United States to come and study here at CKMS. In the first two weeks, I experienced so many difficulties and challenges. But, I was able to make adjustments, not only to the new and busy schedule of the seminary, but also to the food and to the unpredictable weather. After about a couple of weeks, I realized that I needed to make some changes in my life, so that I may not feel helpless and useless anymore. I started to talk more with my classmates, and I shared my difficulties and challenges with them. I was glad that they truly listened to me.

Despite feeling tired and helpless, I have persevered and endured up until now. By reaching out to others with openness, love and mercy like Jesus did in many towns and villages, I have made lots of friends. In return, many of them have inspired me to work harder, to study harder, and even to pray harder.

Having reflected on today’s reading, I have realized that in order for me to become a missionary like Jesus, I must have “self-discipline, responsibility, and obedience to the instructions of the superior.”  As I continue to pray to God for the grace of perseverance, I hope He will continue to guide me and help me in my vocation. (Fr. John Hoang Nguyen (Vietnamese American Exchange Student) CKMS,QC Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/889-september-16-2016-friday

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LET GO COMPLETELY: In the gospel, Mary Magdalene, from whom seven devils had been cast out, is now following Jesus.

I once met a priest who told me about a ‘gospel’ written by a modern woman. The story said the Lord saw a woman with seven devils and He said to her: “I will cast out all seven devils in you.”

The woman looked at the Lord and hesitantly asked: “Lord may I ask a favor from you?” the Lord said: “What is it?” and the woman said: “Would you please cast out only six?”

That is our reality. We want to be healed, yet we keep one little demon within us. We want to be healed and we say: Lord, heal me,” yet we refuse to let go one very pleasant temptation. Perhaps we don’t like to let go of an old grudge or a comfortable bad habit.

This is why healing cannot be complete. It is because we entertain little devils despite the fact that the bigger devils have been cast away by the Lord.

Mary Magdalene was honest enough with herself. She had seven devils. She called each one of them by name then asked the Lord to heal her of all seven devils. Not six, not five.

This morning in the silence that will follow, my advice is very simple. Make a short inventory of the devils you are keeping in your hearts.

Perhaps it is the devil of un-chastity, the devil of untruthfulness, the devil of slander and gossip, the devil of gluttony, the devil of avarice and greed, the devil of lying, the devil of worshipping false gods, the devil of love of money.

Make an inventory of all the devils you carry within your heart. It is not very difficult.

Then let us ask ourselves, ‘Which of these devils am I most comfortable with? Which of these devils am I hesitant to part with? Which of these devils have I started to love? Which of these devils have become too pleasant?’

Then ask the Lord, “Lord, heal me. Cast out all my devils. Do not leave anyone of them in my heart.” If we can do that, the Lord will do that too. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp. 181-182)

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Powerful people often travel with an entourage, a collection of different followers. They  include reporters, security people, employees, people who just crave the limelight, and a few friends who are genuinely dedicated to the welfare of the person they are following. We are the followers of Jesus Christ; we belong to his entourage. We are His servants, His defenders, His friends, his children. We follow a king who is crucified and risen.

Today’s gospel reveals the variety of the people following Jesus. There are the twelve, mostly poor fishermen, plus at least one tax collector. There are women, including Mary Magdalene, who was freed from seven devils, and Joanna, who had connections with people in power, and many others. The gospel ends with a revealing line: they “were assisting them out of their means.” They were not paid workers or people out to get something. These were dedicated, sacrificial servants of Jesus Christ, devoted to supporting the mission of Christ even to the point of sacrificing from their own resources.

In the first reading, St. Paul describes to Timothy some of the details of serving, along with some of the problems. There are always people who are motivated not by love of the Lord but by love of themselves, people who love controversy, people who resist truth and create division, people who somehow see religion as a way to personal gain. St. Paul says there is much to gain from religion, but he makes it clear that he is not talking about worldly gain. “If we have food and clothing, we have all we need.” The key is to be content with what God provides for our needs, and not to be caught in our desires. We often live as though we should be collecting more and more in this life because it will be better for us. When we die, it will not make any difference how much we own.

Paul is very clear that the love of money is a very serious trap, a serious danger to the spiritual life. It twists the heart toward selfishness. Money is not evil in itself. It is our attachment to it that is evil. When we allow foolish and harmful desires to grow in our hearts, we become attached to things of no value from the perspective of eternity. God gives us money and material things because he wants us to do something with them. We have to ask, what does God want me to do with this? Genuine followers of Jesus put their money at the service of the building up of the kingdom.

Paul concludes that we should flee from all temptations that will twist us towards selfishness. He wants us all to be like the genuine followers of Jesus, like Mary Magdalene, like Joanna, like Cornelius, like Cyprian and so many others. He tells us: “…..seek after integrity, piety, faith, love, steadfastness, and a gentle spirit. Fight the good fight of faith. Take firm hold on the everlasting life to which you were called when, in the presence of many witnesses, you made your profession of faith.” That is the way of those who belong to the entourage of Jesus our King.

Why do I follow Jesus? Is it out of culture? Fear? Habit? Love? Do I cling to what I have? Do I share with those who are less fortunate than myself? In what ways do I take “firm hold on the everlasting life to which I have been called?” (Pondering the Word The Anawim Way, September 4, 2011 to October 15, 2011 pp. 71-72)

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There is one thing that binds together the women, who in today’s gospel, are described as followers of Jesus: Jesus had cured them earlier of evil spirits and various maladies (cf. V. 2). As such, the women began to follow Jesus and the disciples and they supported them out of their own means. The women were recipients of a personal touch of Jesus, and they now wish to manifest their sincere thanksgiving:

  • Thanksgiving is a proper response to the goodness and generosity of God.
  • Thanksgiving to God is a lifetime “debt of gratitude” and dedication.
  • Thanksgiving can be shown in a life of mission in union with Jesus’ desire to reach out to others (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday p. 281).

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Catechism a Day: Luke 8:1 – Who can receive priestly vocation? CCC 1577 – Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. Christ chose men to form the college of the 12 apostles and they did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the 12 an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by Christ Himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible. (Fr. Iko Bajos)

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FRIDAY OF THE 24TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 8:1-3. Nganong angay’ng respetohan ang kababayenhan? Si Hesus naghatag sa mga babaye og susamang pagtahod nga iyang gihatag sa mga lalaki. Sa ebanghelyo karon adunay mga babaye nga nag-uban kang Hesus sa iyang ministeryo publiko. Kini nagpakita nga ang mga babaye adunay aktibong papel sa pagtukod sa Gingharian sa Dios. Sukwahi kini sa kultura sa mga Hudiyo nga nag-isip sa mga babaye nga ubos nga sakop sa katilingban. Ang ehemplo ni Hesus maghagit kanato sa pagtahod sa mga kababayenhan ug sa pag-ila sa ilang bililhong papel ug katakos. Si Juan Pablo Dos nag-ingon: “Sa matag higayon nga daoton sa tawo ang dignidad sa mga kababayenhan, tabla ra nga iyang gipakaubos ang iyang kaugalingon ug ang iyang bokasyon” (Mulieris Dignitatem, 10). Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/09/friday-of-24th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Friday, September 18, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 24TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 8:1-3. NGANONG ANGAY MANG RESPETOHAN ANG KABABAYENHAN? Si Hesus naghatag sa mga babaye og susamang pagtahod nga iyang gihatag sa mga lalaki. Sa ebanghelyo adunay mga babaye nga nag-uban kang Hesus sa iyang ministeryo publiko. Kini nagpakita nga ang mga babaye adunay aktibong papel sa pagtukod sa Gingharian sa Dios. Sukwahi kini sa kultura sa mga Hudiyo nga nag-isip sa mga babaye nga ubos nga sakop sa katilingban. Ang ehemplo ni Hesus maghagit kanato sa pagtahod sa mga kababayenhan ug sa pag-ila sa ilang bililhong papel sa Simbahan. Si San Juan Pablo Dos nag-ingon: “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” Matag higayon nga daoton sa tawo ang dignidad sa mga kababayenhan, tabla ra nga iyang gipakaubos ang iyang kaugalingon ug ang iyang bokasyon (Mulieris Dignitatem, 10). Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/friday-of-24th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

September 19, 2014, Friday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time 

1 Timothy 6:2-12; Psalm 49:6-10, 17-20; Luke 8:1-3

Jesus and His Women Disciples

Recently Pope Francis has invited theologians to come up with a comprehensive “theology of woman” which according to him is a dire need of the time. Among the evangelists it was Luke who projected and promoted to role of women in the ministry of Jesus. Today’s Gospel enumerates the travelling band of Jesus which symbolized the prototype of the Church or the evolving and emerging kingdom of God. The twelve apostles represented the twelve tribes of Israel while women comprised the second element of his travelling band. It was not uncommon for rich women to support rabbis and their disciples. But for women to leave their homes and travel with a rabbi was not only unheard of, it was scandalous as well. Even more outrageous was the fact that among Jesus’ travelling companions there were dignified as well as women of disrepute. Mary called Magdalene from whom seven demons were removed, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, a noble woman from the household of Herod found their meeting point in Jesus. These faithful women were not like appendix or beneficiaries of a self-sufficient men’s organization. In fact, they were the contributors and sustainers of that group out of their resources.

In Jesus we see the convergence of men and women, married and single, healthy and ailing, wealthy and poor. These women were the faithful witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. While, one of his male disciples betrayed him and the rest deserted him and finally collectively decided to return to their traditional occupation to fend for themselves it these women who ventured to visit the tomb and bore witness to the resurrection of Jesus. However, even after two millenniums; the inadequacy imposed on women by patriarchal societies and religions still lingers like smog blinding to the vision of many. Listen once again to what Pope Francis has to say, “I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops, deacons and priests. In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how? That’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking. Thank you.” I think Pope Francis has made his mind unambiguously clear. Now the ball is in our court. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php

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September 18, 2015

Friday of the 24th Week in the Ordinary Time

1 Tim 6: 2c- 12, Lk 8: 1-3

Jesus and His Women Disciples

Recently Pope Francis has invited theologians to come up with a comprehensive “theology of woman” which according to him is a dire need of the time. Among the evangelists it was Luke who projected and promoted to role of women in the ministry of Jesus. Today’s Gospel enumerates the travelling band of Jesus which symbolized the prototype of the Church or the evolving and emerging kingdom of God. The twelve apostles represented the twelve tribes of Israel while women comprised the second element of his travelling band. It was not uncommon for rich women to support rabbis and their disciples. But for women to leave their homes and travel with a rabbi was not only unheard of, it was scandalous as well. Even more outrageous was the facts that among Jesus’ travelling companions there were dignified as well as women of disrepute. Mary called Magdalene from whom seven demons were removed, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, a noble woman from the household of Herod found their meeting point in Jesus. These faithful women were not like appendix or beneficiaries of a self-sufficient men’s organization. In fact, they were the contributors and sustainers of that group out of their resources.

In Jesus we see the convergence of men and women, married and single, healthy and ailing, wealthy and poor. These women were the faithful witnesses of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. While, one of his male disciples betrayed him and the rest deserted him and finally collectively decided to return to their traditional occupation to fend for themselves it these women who ventured to visit the tomb and bore witness to the resurrection of Jesus. However, even after two millenniums; the inadequacy imposed on women by patriarchal societies and religions still lingers like smog blinding to the vision of many. Listen once again to what Pope Francis has to say, “I’ve said it, but I repeat it. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the Apostles, than bishops, deacons and priests. In the Church, woman is more important than bishops and priests; how? That’s what we must seek to make more explicit, because theological explicitness about this is lacking. Thank you.” I think Pope Francis has made his mind unambiguously clear. Now the ball is in our court. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-09-18 

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MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM: In the Catholic Church, one of my observations is the number of women involved in church activities. Oftentimes, women outnumber men in attendance at Mass, prayer groups and seminars. Women seem to be keener to offer a hand when it comes to organizing church affairs. Have you noticed this, too?

Luke reports to us a typical day in the life and times of Jesus, going through villages and towns — preaching, teaching and healing. He mentions that certain women accompanied Him along the way. John tells us of the women who stood at the foot of the cross of Jesus, of women touched by Jesus’ ministry who saw it fitting to serve and offer assistance to Him. The Lord enjoys their generosity, which is a very big statement in the eyes of a society where women were seen as inferior and looked down upon by their male counterpart. Even in many societies today, women are seen as second-class citizens. Many popes and spiritual writers have denounced this attitude and sought to renew the value and dignity of women in the life of the Church and society at large.

Noticeably, our Church is predominantly patriarchal. Men lead the Church through the cardinals. Men are called to the priesthood in the person and name of Christ who was a man. Men are often seen in top positions, but there are now many women taking prime positions in the life of the Church and the world. Many world leaders now have women guiding and influencing their governments. I believe this is a good thing. Women bring a certain level of warmth, genuine concern, intuition and constancy in their dealings with people. They complement men and play an important role in the formation and nourishment of life. After all, none of us would exist on earth if it was not for the woman we call mother. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you believe in the equality of men and women? Do you uphold the dignity of man and woman created in the image of God?

Lord, give us grace to respect and love all people, created in Your love. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-19

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TRUE OR FALSE – Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching… has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions. – 1 Timothy 6:3-4

I parked my car in the free parking area adjacent to the city hall. I had parked there for countless times, so I was confident that there’d be no problem.

Later, when my mom and I returned to the parking area, I saw my car about to be towed away! The traffic officer said that I parked in a “No Parking” area. I argued that there was no sign and that there were other cars parked there when I arrived. He explained to me why cars couldn’t park there but I found his reason unacceptable. I told him that if there was a sign, I wouldn’t have parked there.

My arguments fell on deaf ears. They towed my car and I paid the penalty.

Paul warns Timothy to be wary of those who stray from the sound teachings of the Gospel for they open the door to quarrels and division. Laws and teachings — man-made or God’s — are subject to different interpretations and are twisted at times for self-serving purposes. So as not to be fooled, we must study God’s Word and be more discerning. Judith Concepcion (svp_jmc@yahoo.com)

Reflection: Are you easily taken in by a preacher’s smooth style that you accept his every word — hook, line and sinker?

Lord, grant me the wisdom to discern true from false teaching.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-09-18

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TIME IS SHORT – The Gospel presents Jesus as a tireless campaigner for the Kingdom of God. Jesus knows that He has a limited amount of time for His ministry and He wants to proclaim the Good News to as many people as possible. The saints, too, have this type of sentiment. They realize that they will have limited opportunities to preach the Gospel. I wonder how we feel about this task? How committed are we to proclaim the Good News in our own ways?

Therese of Lisieux once spoke of her desire to spend her heaven doing good works on earth. This is the attitude that makes a saint. In all of the saints, there is a selflessness when it comes to pursuing their own dreams. This is perfectly correct, as the will of God and not our own should be paramount in our lives. Jesus expresses this truth most poignantly when He anguishes over His future in the Garden of Gethsemane. However, His eventual decision is to do His Father’s will.       It takes a courageous person to surrender his own will to that of another,more so i

f that “other” is God. However, this is the nature of the Gospel call — to place our lives in the hands of God and at the service of His Kingdom.

The early disciples of Jesus indicate to us what discipleship is. Some are called to preach the Gospel; others to provide for those who do this work. There are different ways in which we take part in the mission of the Church, each essential in its own right. Let us never belittle our contribution to the work of the Gospel as long as we do our best to discern and follow what God wants us to do. God does not ask any more than this from us. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you trying to discern God’s will for your life or are you more interested in doing your own will?

Holy Spirit, speak strongly to the hearts and minds of young people today. Call them to the priesthood and religious life if it is God’s will for them. Grant them the grace to follow Your call.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-09-18

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A FASCINATING PATTERN – Accompanying him were the Twelve… and many others who provided for them out of their resources. – Luke 8:1, 3

Today’s Gospel is something I can easily relate with. It speaks of women following Jesus aside from His twelve apostles. Today, women are more visible followers of Jesus! “Invite more men to our prayer meeting!” should be a familiar tune.

In our Third Order, our ratio is eight women for every one male member. And in our Divine Mercy Marian Cenacle group, we have only two men in our roster of 24 attendees.

The Gospel also speaks of followers who contribute from their own resources to support Jesus and His disciples. Twice in my life, I have chosen to work for the Lord full-time without pay. How did I survive? For one, friends and followers of Jesus were inspired to give without me having to ask them. People can be so generous for the Lord.

This Holy Spirit at work among Jesus’ followers is the same one working among His servants — yesterday, today and, I’m sure, forever! Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.com)

Reflection: There are many forms of service. Aside from giving your time and talent, we can also give our treasure to support God’s workers.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-16

Lord Jesus, when You were here on earth You began the work of building the Church and proclaiming the Kingdom. Today, over 2,000 years later, the work is not yet finished. It is a huge task, Lord. Help me to do my part in any way I can. I want to contribute to Your mission, too. Amen. kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-16

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WOMEN POWER – Women during Jesus’ time were second-class citizens. By themselves, as with children, they had no legal personality. To be considered a legal person, they have to be associated with a male person by marriage. Thus, to be widowed would revert a woman back to her second-class status in society.

Males, on the other hand, have the advantage. They control the powerful places in the social strata. Male religious leaders are highly esteemed. Religious law therefore forbids women to go near, much more to be a constant companion of male religious leaders. Physical nearness with a woman would render a religious leader impure and unworthy of his position.

We see none of this in today’s Gospel. Jesus, the religious leader, is portrayed by the Gospel as going through towns and villages accompanied by the Apostles and some women — Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Susanna and many others. These women were not starry-eyed fans. They were disciples of Jesus who assisted Him in His ministry. In doing so, Jesus was making a statement against the prevailing male chauvinistic culture of His time.

We have gone a long way since the time of our Lord, but we still have miles to go. There are still systemic structures that put women at a disadvantage with men. But we need a genuine feminism to correct this. A feminism that makes women resent their unique femininity will not do. A feminism that proposes that women will only become men’s equal when they become like men will only impoverish rather than enrich. St. John Paul II taught that the cure to inequality of the sexes is not to eliminate the gender differences but to celebrate and recognize what he called “genuine masculinity” and the “feminine genius.”

Slogans like “women power” and “pro-choice” promote the same oppressive spirit, only in a different and more sophisticated form — only in a way that perpetuates the cycle of competition and isolation. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Let us make a collective examination of conscience and see in what ways we condone, consciously or unconsciously, the oppression of women.

O Blessed Mother, true pride of our race and model of true and genuine feminism, pray for us to God for the gift of true respect and appreciation of the gift of femininity. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-16

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Love Is Not Snobbish

September 18, 2015 (readings)

Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Father David Daly, LC

Luke 8:1-3

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Jesus, teach me to live universal charity.

  1. “Accompanying Him Were the Twelve”In this rather commonplace phrase from the Gospel, we perceive Jesus’ universal charity. He chose his twelve apostles from many different backgrounds. Most of them probably would not have been friends were it not for Christ. Matthew was a tax collector; Peter, James and John, fisherman. Judas was more “sophisticated” than the rest. Yet, Jesus called them all to be his closest collaborators. As a result, they would come to cooperate with and appreciate each other. When Christ is at the center of any relationship, differences can not only be overcome, they can become points of strength as well.
  2. Mary, Called Magdalene:Not only did he choose men to be his close collaborators, but as the Gospel says there were also “women who provided for him out of their resources.” Jesus assigned them different roles, but he saved and transformed their lives all the same. We think of Mary Magdalene as a close friend of Christ, but we should also remember that he transformed her, with the power of God’s grace, by expelling seven demons from her.
  3. The Wife of Herod’s Steward:Another of the women following Jesus was “Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward.” It is amazing to realize that the Gospel took root even in the midst of the fiefdom of Herod, a man who had absolutely no esteem for our Lord. We, then, should never ‘write someone off.’ Prayer, sacrifice, and charity can be effective means for the worst sinner’s conversion. Jesus’ message was capable of inspiring followers in all societal conditions and groupings. Similarly, we are called to build the Kingdom at all levels of our secularized world.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, you give us the example of unconditional love for each and every person. You do not care what our background is or how many sins we have committed. Your mercy is infinite and everlasting! Thank you for your love. I beg you to teach me to love without limits.

Resolution: I promise to practice universal charity today by being kind to someone with whom I do not ordinarily associate.

epriest.com/reflections/view/516

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Reflection for September 18, Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:1-3

Reflection: Who are the majority crowd during Sunday Holy Mass or daily Holy Mass for that matter? The majority are women, who are the majority who volunteers for church work? It’s women again! During the time of Jesus and as it is today the silent workers and supporters of Jesus and His church are women.

When Jesus was dying on the cross the majority of those who remained loyal to Him are women too (Luke 23:49)! The same when Jesus resurrected, the loyal woman supporters of Jesus saw Him first (Luke 24:9–11).

The gospel this Friday mentions Jesus, the twelve apostles and a number of women with different backgrounds. Some are sinners, some are rich and some are poor also. What brought these women with diverse background together? What made them silently support Jesus?

It’s their love and loyalty to Jesus. The same love and loyalty to Jesus that fuels the many women of today. To silently support Jesus and the church that He founded through peter.

Like the women in the gospel who followed and provided help for Jesus. We too are being challenged to humbly follow Jesus and provide support for the church that He founded.

What can you contribute to Jesus and the church today? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/09/reflection-for-september-18-friday-of.html

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September 16, 2016

REFLECTION: At the time of Jesus and in 1st century Palestine, women had no public voice, no public role, and no rights as free persons. Rabbis had a low opinion of women and saw them essentially as temptresses (Eve tempted Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit). Hence the need for men to keep aloof of women, never talk or be seen with them in public. In the synagogues, they were separated from men and screened off so as to remain invisible.

Against this cultural background we see Jesus treating women in a completely different way. He talks to them in public (cf. the episode of the Samaritan woman), to the astonishment of his disciples (Jn 4:27). He accepts them as disciples, as we see in today’s gospel reading, what no Jewish rabbi would ever have done. He would have made them apostles, surely, but no one would have accepted to listen to them, so he had to stop short of doing that. But he did appear to women first, after the Resurrection. Clearly, Jesus thought that women were just as important as men. And, if we are true followers of his, we will think so too.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3648-september-16-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 24th Week of the Year

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