Imagine this scene in today’s Gospel: Jesus travels from village to village proclaiming the “good news” of the Kingdom of God. Walking along with him are the twelve apostles and some women. The writer Luke also adds, “and many others who provided for them out of their own resources.”
Now, does “many others” mean additional women, men who were not apostles, or a mix of women and men? In either case, given the times in the first century A.D., it is so significant that Jesus would publicly show respect and value and lift women up to share in his ministry. Indeed, it fits Jesus’ whole personhood: how he valued those who were marginalized and rejected – even inviting them to eat with him.
Two things are clear in this story: 1) the women travel in public view with Jesus and the apostles; 2) some women have been cured of evil spirits and infirmities. What is also clear is that in this situation, Jesus is not worried about being seen ministering and preaching with women among his “team.”
Indeed, Jesus models for us in this story in Luke an inner freedom and a kind of “spirit of poverty.” And if some of these women traveling with Jesus were “sinners” in the eyes of the public, Jesus was not concerned about that. (Recall how many lay women and men Saint Peter Julian Eymard brought into his ministry as collaborators.)
There are many lessons to take away from today’s scripture readings. What’s the lesson we might take from this story in Luke?
Let Us Pray:
Lord, teach us who have so much how to be poor in spirit, to share generously from our resources – our time, talents, treasure, our very hearts, with those who are truly poor. That your Kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.