Sunday, January 13, 2013

Women in Luke's Gospel and in Spirituality in General

Just a quick thought--today at mass, Fr. Sam Lupico mentioned the women of St. Luke's Gospel.  He listed off a few and commented on the role they played in Jesus's life.  With a quick online search, it does not take long at all to find many entries in which people have written about the importance of women in St. Luke's Gospel.

It is interesting to me as I think about the importance of women in my own spiritual development:
  • My mother was a larger influence on my spiritual growth as a child.  Not that I didn't admire my father and my father is now a cantor which brings him into the mass in an entirely different way than my mother who attends but does not lead singing, but in my formative years it was m mother.
  • My mother encouraged me to join the Newman Catholic Student Association.
  • There was a woman prominent in the campus ministry at Penn State.
  • Much of the leadership during my years there was young women.
  • We had a very active sister in our parish at the University of Michigan.
  • Of the leaders of our pre-Cana training before we got married, I could relate to the woman (who was a more senior grad student) than I could to her husband
  • While my tattoo is of St. Sebastian, he is accompanied by Irene who played an important part in the story
  • Nearly all the youth/children's ministry leadership at St. Pius has been female
  • Our pastoral life director is female

Now, I am not Jesus.  And none of the women with whom I have the experience to relate to over the years would compare themselves with Elizabeth, Mary, Mary Magdalene, etc.

But, I do recognize the importance of women in my spiritual life.  It is interesting that as I have to raise my own kids, I am the father taking an active spiritual role in the life of three sons.  We will see how they turn out.  And when they grapple with the Bible and with their own spirituality some day, will they see themselves in the same context that I do or will they see themselves and interpret their spiritual growth through a completely different lens?

I don't know, but I suspect it will shape how they think of their spirituality as they grow and how they end up living their faith as they grow and become adults.  It is interesting to wonder how much different my day to day adult mid-life spiritual experiences woud be if I'd had a different set of influences as a child and in my young adulthood.  The context matters immensely.  

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