Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 8,1-3

Now it happened that after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve, as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the 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 own resources.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus wants to have not only the Twelve, but also and some women at his side. It is an exemplary choice of the new style of preaching that Jesus puts into practice. Luke is the only one who notices it. The evangelist writes that the women "had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities," had chosen to follow Jesus, and put their goods at his service and that of the disciples. They were fully part of that new community that Jesus had created and that shared his own mission. This is an important indication. It shows how much Jesus went beyond the customs of his time. In fact, it was unthinkable for the rabbinical custom of the time to let women even enter the circle of disciples. Jesus, on the other hand, associates them with his own mission, as it can be seen in other Gospel pages. Luke names three of them, Mary of Magdala, freed from "seven demons," that is, a considerable number of evil spirits; Joanna, a woman close to King Herod, who will also be remembered in the story of the resurrection; and Susanna of whom there is no news. They were probably wealthy people attracted by Jesus' preaching. They put themselves at the service of that extraordinary Master and put their wealth at the service of the new religious group. Already in these few lines, the primacy of discipleship appears clearly. This primacy makes surmount all the barriers, even those that seem more difficult to overcome, as it could be the little consideration that the mentality of the time reserved for women. For Jesus what counts is to be disciples. And for Jesus - as Paul will say - there is no longer man or woman, but only disciples to love, to send, and to defend. To be disciples is the true and most important dignity that is offered and given to us.