Inspiration – Women’s church role being redefined

Amy Norland,
For High Prairie St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church

The 1970s ushered in a huge upheaval when industry found itself relying on a workforce that society did not take seriously. [Florence Bird]
Roles in the church are also being redefined. It this really a new awakening?
Christ often spoke up for women, in some instances because the failings they were accused of needed an accomplice, who was often one the accusers.
All members of the human family should be treated fairly. One needs only to refer to Genesis to know God’s intent: “male and female, He created them.”
His first command was to go forth and multiply. The church honours this through the sacrament of marriage.
But He has not issued the call to everyone. He has also underlined a sacred vocation for both men and women: dedicated service. [Luke 10:38-42]
“All devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.” [Acts 1:14]
“Go forth and make disciples of all nations.” [Matthew 28:19]
It has always been: men and women are members of the Mystical Body, though in society, women had to campaign just to be recognized as persons. Even in Canada, that was enacted only in 1929.
Service has no gender. Women have participated in the life of the church throughout the centuries and in many roles. Education and care of the sick are quite familiar examples. Does that mean that roles in the church should remain static?
After due consideration, Pope Francis is deliberating this very question as he seeks to usher in a new phase in the Theology for Woman.
This past month, we celebrated several important days, two in particular. The Feast of Mary Magdalene, the first to hear the Good News of the Resurrection. “Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, I have seen the Lords.” [John 20-18] And the World Day of Prayer for Priests.
Subtle but to be pondered is that neither Mary Magdalene not the disciples recognized Christ when first encountered post-Resurrection.
Do we recognize Him in those we meet? St. Matthew’s Gospel underlines that He will reward us for even offering a cup of cool water, if offered in the name of a disciple. [Matthew 10]
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta exemplified this simplicity in the way she ministered to those in need.

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