Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Women believers

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
December 19, 2012

Luke 1:39-45

After receiving the call from God announcing that she will be the mother of the Messiah, Mary sets off alone. A new life is beginning for her, at the srvice of her Son Jesus. She walks "hastily", decisively. She feels the need to share her joy with her cousin Elizabeth and be at her service as soon as possible in her last months of pregnancy.

The meeting of the two mothers is an unusual scene. The men aren't present. Just two simple women, with no title or importance in the Jewish religion. Mary, who carries Jesus with her everywhere, and Elizabeth who, full of prophetic spirit, dares to bless her cousin without being priest.

Mary enters Zechariah's house, but she doesn't address him. She goes directly to greet Elizabeth. We know nothing of the content of her greeting. Only that that greeting fills the house with overflowing joy. It's the joy Mary has been experiencing since she heard the Angel's greeting: "Rejoice, favored one."

Elizabeth cannot contain her surprise and happiness. When she hears Mary's greeting, she feels the movements of the infant within her and interprets them maternally as "jumping for joy." Then she blesses Mary, crying in a loud voice, "Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb."

She never calls Mary by her name. She sees her as completely identified with her mission: She is the mother of her Lord. She sees her as a faithful woman in whom God's designs will be fulfilled: "Blessed are you who believed."

What most surprises her is Mary's action. She hasn't come to show off her worthiness as mother of the Messiah. She isn't there to be served but to serve. Elizabeth doesn't cease to be astonished. "Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"

There are a lot of women who don't live in peace within the Church. In some of them, disaffection and malaise are growing. They suffer on seeing that, despite being the first collaborators in many areas, they are barely relied on to think, make decisions and promote the progress of the Church. This situation is hurting us all.

The weight of a centuries-old history, controlled and dominated men, keeps us from becoming aware of the impoverishment that doing without a more effective presence of women means for the Church.

We don't listen to them, but God can raise up women believers, filled with the prophetic spirit, who spread joy to us and give the Church a more human face. They will be a blessing. They will teach us to follow Jesus with more passion and faithfulness.

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