Friday, September 18, 2015

Reflection: Luke 8:1-3

24th Week in Ordinary Time — Luke 8:1-3

Today Jesus once again is on the road. He had journeyed from one town and village to another, always proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Twelve accompanied him on this journey as well as several women whom Jesus had cured of evil spirits or infirmities. The women were Mary, also called Magdalen, Joanna, Susanna, and many others. These women provided for Jesus and his disciples from their personal resources.

Today we are reminded that Jesus was an itinerant preacher. He depended on friends as well as the generosity of the people he met on his travels for the food and shelter he and his disciples required. Typically when I think of Jesus’ disciples, I think of the twelve apostles. Yet, the men and women who chose to follow Jesus were from all the classes of society: the rich, the poor, the educated, and the beggars.

Today, several of the women who were traveling with Jesus are named: Mary (Magdalene), Joanna and Susanna as well as many other women. Jesus had ministered to these three women by driving out evil spirits and healing their infirmities. In gratitude, the women traveled with Jesus and provided for Jesus and his disciples out of their personal resources. In a very concrete way, through their financial support, these women were a vital part of Jesus’ ministry.

As we all know: money is essential. Without sufficient resources, we are handicapped and not able to provide for our families, communities and the poor. These women truly gave Jesus a great gift. Their belief in Jesus as the Son of God came from the depths of their hearts. They were not only loyal to him, they became his disciples. They followed him around the countryside and provided for his needs and also for the disciples’ needs. These women also were disciples of Jesus, even though they are not named as disciples.

Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus is a disciple. Today we are the women and men who have chosen to follow Jesus. And today we are called to provide for the people in our lives who are in need. We may do this by making a donation, helping a neighbor by mowing the grass, working in a food pantry, or simply by lending a listening ear to an individual who needs some support. If we claim to be disciples of Jesus, will the people we encounter today recognize us as his followers?

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