These women are the icon of what service is because they do not ask for visibility, but give visibility to the only thing that matters: Christ.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The short Gospel of Luke that we read today tells us something that we should realize without any effort from the evidence: the preaching of Christ has not only a male following, but also a female following:
“Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.”
Our communities are populated mostly by a female majority, and this should not surprise us. We should not make this a gender issue, but we need to rid ourselves of toxic male chauvinism – which, nonetheless, cannot be overcome with an equally toxic feminism. These women are also among the disciples, and they should not be considered as being subservient, but women who make Jesus’ mission possible because they make their resources available.
However, we should not think of mere material things. Sometimes an asset at our disposal could be a little of our time, a little of our listening, a little of our companionship – in short, a little of whatever we have to offer. These women are the icon of what service is because they do not ask for visibility, but give visibility to the only thing that matters: Christ.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.