Faith, Friendship and Feminine Genius
17 September 2021, Friday in the 24th Week of the Ordinary Time
Lk 8: 1-3
St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
What is the significant difference of Christianity with the rest of the world’s great philosophies and religions? Christianity is a revealed religion. And when God reveals and calls humanity to Himself, He makes known His ardent desire: salvation.
In today’s Gospel, St Luke paints Jesus as the Savior for all by highlighting the women disciples: Mary of Magdala, Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, Susanna and many others. Take note, three are only named but many women followed the Lord. Even if the Gospel reading of today has only 3 verses, it gives us a glimpse on how Jesus led them to faith.
First, faith begins as friendly encounter. By having women as followers, Jesus introduced to a society that was patriarchal a new vision: God’s reign. He did it not by great ideas and projects but by doing acts of kindness to all. He preached, healed and drove away evil spirits. We can be good because of our capacities and qualifications. But kindness has long lasting effect for it is something that can make and never break. It is something that can touch our minds and make our obstinate hearts tender.
Second, faith makes us more engaged. During the time of Jesus, women were nobody. But these women never allowed the dictates of the society and even of their religion to stop them to be with Jesus. Yes, they had up, close and personal encounters with the Lord. But they were never passive. They’re active in the sense that their relationship was not just driven by emotion and affection but they went beyond by participating in the mission of Jesus by providing resources. They are not feminists but these women disciples in mission are feminine genius.
Third, people who have faith preach by good example. Being resourceful is a big asset. This manifests creativity and responsibility. By these, women shape families, our society, the Church and the world. Women make our humanity more human and humane like Jesus who “thought with a human mind, loved with a human heart, acted with a human will and worked with human hands.” (GS 22)
Today, we remember St Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit bishop and Doctor of the Church. Obviously, he is not a woman. But his life and mission are driven by faith in Jesus. He was a brilliant theologian but, like Jesus, he was prayerful, insightful and humble. Once, he decided to sell his tapestries that were hanging on the wall. What he earned he gave it to the poor for their clothing. St Robert Bellarmine said, “The walls would not catch cold.”
What is the significant difference of Christianity with the rest of the world’s great philosophies and religions? Let our life of faith in Jesus speak by our words though our encounters, by works by being engaged and by witness though good examples. By these, Christianity is not just a denomination; it is friendship with the Lord. Amen!
Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us here.