Memorial of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, priest and martyr, and St. Paul Chong Ha-sang, martyr and companions, martyrs
(I Timothy 6:2c-12; Luke 8:1-3)
When St. Dominic was founding the Dominican Order, he started by establishing a convent of women converted from the heretical sect in southern France. They provided spiritual support for the soon to be organized band of friars. Dominic could draw from Jesus’ experience in today’s gospel.
Luke mentions that a group of women accompanies Jesus and the Twelve as he proclaims the Kingdom of God. The gospel emphasizes that they were more than enthusiastic followers but provide necessary material support for the troupe. The third gospel takes pains to present women alongside men. In this past Sunday’s gospel, for example, the parable of the woman who searches her house for a lost coin follows that of the shepherd who does not rest until he finds the lost sheep.
Especially in Church circles women can be taken for granted today. Such practice is deplorable because it betrays Jesus’ legacy. Certainly measures have to be taken to avoid scandal, but including women in decision-making positions, as Pope Francis has promised, seems much in line with Jesus’ own practice.