Proud to be introducing another guest on our blog, my very own husband, Austin Duran!
Thank you for the beautiful words on the call of women.
"Go and make disciples of all nations” -- Jesus, the Resurrected Lord. On resurrection Sunday, Jesus took the first and made them last; He took the last, and made them first – he appeared to women. A woman in Christ’s time was not allowed to learn in the synagogues. They were subject to their husbands in everything and in all ways – they could be divorced with a few words and set aside without means to support themselves. If they were menstruating they were ritually unclean. Even to touch a woman in that state was to make themselves unclean. For the Jewish man, even a gentile man was of higher status than a Jewish woman -- despite that she was of God’s chosen people. Part of the Jewish daily prayers: “Blessed are you God of the universe who has not made me a gentile, a woman or a slave.” And yet, once resurrected, Jesus chose women to reveal Himself to first. The new covenant, the resurrected first fruit of a new creation appears to those who are considered just above slaves.
But Christ does not change their status: he revealed it. It was hidden by the brokenness of the world, but God created “male and female” in His image. The call to project His image into the world was given at the beginning of creation and Christ lifted the shroud covering that truth. The wisdom of the day said “blessed am I for not being a woman”. If only you had been born a woman and had been the first to see the resurrected Christ! He elevated women from being objects of scorn. They were no longer considered beneath gentiles, but called again to their original purpose: to work out His image by proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus redeems women and men with His resurrection. Paul tells us that Jesus is the new Adam, in Corinthians. Where Adam failed in his temptation, Jesus remained resolute. Where Adam caused all humankind to die due to sin, Jesus redeems all humans through his sacrifice and awards eternal life. Where Adam failed to rule over creation, Jesus reigns supreme forever. In the same way, Jesus redeemed women. For Adam failed all humankind and Jesus is, therefore, the redemption for all humankind. But the scriptures does not fail to give us example for the redemption of women too. With Eve’s participation in sin, death came into the world through man. With Mary’s participation with God’s will, eternal life came to the world through Jesus. Christ inaugurates this redemption by entrusting the salvific message of Jesus to women. He did not say to the women on Easter Sunday “go and get the disciples and bring them here, so that I may tell them I have resurrected”. He told the women to go and preach the gospel to His disciples! The first gospel message was given to, and given by, women. Women then carry out that mission throughout the world. Junia was an apostle and complemented by Paul for her great work for the gospel and even centuries later by John Chrysostom. The Deacon Phoebe carried Paul’s letter to the Romans; in ancient times, the carrier was expected to explain, teach and answer questions pertaining to the letter. Lydia in Thyatira with her home church, who, as a wealthy and prominent business woman, was likely not just setting out snacks for the congregation. And now, you. So, women of the Church, follow in the footsteps of the great women of God before you. In the words of our Lord: “go, and make disciples of all nations”. For Christ has called you.