Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s short Gospel passage stands out not only because of its brevity but because of the people it highlights. Immediately following yesterday’s passage about the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet while he dined with the Pharisee, this not only mentions women disciples, it highlights three of them by name. This would have been as shocking for Luke’s Greco-Roman audience to hear as it was for Jesus’ Jewish contemporaries to witness. It was not uncommon at that time for women to financially support rabbis and their disciples, but it would have been unheard of for them to leave home and travel with them.
What this means is that Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and the other unnamed women were willing to eschew the societal and religious conventions of their time in order to minister to and with Jesus and his other disciples. I wonder if they were ridiculed or looked down on for the way that they chose to follow Jesus.
While we live in a different time, there are still times in our lives when living out our faith seems counter-cultural. To what lengths am I willing to go in response to co-labor with Christ in his kingdom?
Loving God, sometimes I need to be called out of my comfort zone and take a risk in order to grow closer to you. Give me the courage to step outside myself and respond generously to your invitation to discipleship. Amen.
—Lauren GaffeyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!