Monday, July 19, 2010

Confirmation I and II: July 18, 2010: The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Read the Gospel: Lk 10:38-42

Journal: How did you live out last week’s Gospel message? What was tough? What was rewarding?

Growing up in the 60’s placed me in college on the mainland in the late 70’s and graduate school back in Hawaii in the early ‘80’s. During that time, more island girls were beginning to seek higher education outside of the islands and in areas which men were more prevalent. I met a number of strong female professors in college who were big influences on attitudes regarding the role of women in society.
Jesus also valued women disciples highly. And this Gospel shows it. In Jesus’ time women were little more than property. They had few rights. They certainly weren’t allowed to study at the feet of religious teachers. But Jesus saw things differently. He encouraged women to learn from him. He appeared to a woman first after his Resurrection. He defied the stereotypes and sexism of his day.
Many women tell me they think our society still suffers from warped views about a woman’s role. Ads seem to argue that women have no value unless they wear the latest fashions. I have teacher friends that say that some teenage girls still don’t offer answers in class out of fear that boys don’t find smart girls attractive. Women are underrepresented in leadership in many parts of society. A frighteningly high number of women suffer abuse each year by men who think women have no right to refuse their physical advances.
I have several friends who are good examples of women who learned about a woman’s role from Jesus. All Christians need to look critically at negative stereotypes of women in our culture and stand up to anything that denies women equal rights in politics, business, or religion.
Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to learn. Maybe we should do the same thing if we wonder about a woman’s “role.”

Journal: Identify any stereotypes or policies in our society that you think are contrary to Jesus’ view of women. How has Jesus influenced you in developing positive attitudes about the value of people in your life?

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