“Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others… provided for them out of their means.” (Luke 8:3)
Today’s Gospel passage specifically mentions the fact that there were certain women who accompanied Jesus in the course of his missionary enterprise. These women were not simply part of the crowd, they played a very important role in the success of Jesus’ ministry by providing for Jesus and his disciples out of their means.
Without proper nutrition, it is difficult to do the work of God. No one can fast for a whole year and still have the energy to go from place to place spreading the Good News. However, there is a tendency to underestimate the role that these women played just as there is a tendency to assume the head is more important than other parts of the body.
Apart from these women Luke mentions, there are many others including men who worked quietly in the background to ensure the success of Jesus’ mission. Recall that at the election of a replacement for Judas Iscariot, Peter said: “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (Acts 1:21-22)
The fact that the names of the twelve apostles are known is not to say they were more important than the women or men who worked in the background. In the same way, it would be wrong to assume that the work of a priest is more important than the work of a catechist, a seminarian or even a professed religious.
It is quite interesting that these women who accompanied Jesus were the first to witness the resurrection of Jesus. In today’s first reading, St. Paul makes us understand that if Christ had not risen from the dead, then Christianity as a whole is just a lie and we are most to be pitied. That is to say, the whole enterprise of our faith rests on the solid foundation that Christ died and rose from the dead. And the women were very instrumental in the spread of this Good News.
Dear friends, as far as the work of God is concerned, there is no need to look down on the function anyone is playing. We all have different callings but I bet you none is more important than the other. It was Albert Einstein who said: “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” This is just an example of how roles could be different yet complementary. Everyone’s role is different but we all need each other.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to play my role for your kingdom and never look down or despise the function of others. Amen.Bible Study: 1st Corinthians 15:12-20, Psalm 17 and Luke 8:1-3).