Archive for February 10th, 2008

The Chauvinistic Church

woman washing Jesus feetLook at how Jesus’ female disciples were portrayed in the Gospels:

One tenderly washes his feet with her tears and then dries them with her hair, an act of loving service that, according to Jesus, demonstrates her unique understanding of his message.

Another breaks open an expensive jar of perfume and anoints him with it. Apparently she was the only one of his disciples who understood and accepted the predictions he had made of his imminent arrest and execution. She symbolically prepares him for his upcoming death and burial. Again, she is held up as an example to his other disciples.

According to the three synoptic Gospels, the only friends of Jesus who stayed throughout his ordeal on the cross were the women.


Again, it was women who went to care for his body in the tomb. And there it was women to whom it was first revealed that he had risen.

It was these women who first encountered the risen Christ and were first given the task to preach the Good News of his resurrection.

“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me. “(Matt 28: 8-10)

mary at the tomb
And yet when they arrived at the place where Jesus’ male friends had been hiding, no one believed them, no doubt in part because these messengers were lowly women.

“When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.”
(Mark 16:11)

Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; “he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” (Mark 16:14)

Saint Paul said (some time before the Gospels were put down on paper) that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. Yet up to this day there are still  large segments of the church who believe that woman lack the gravitas to teach and lead. Perhaps if woman had had a larger voice in God’s ministry, something Jesus seemed to have desired, then the church may have done a better job of sharing the Gospel with the world.


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