Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke with Barbara Reid OP

My Notes from Lecture:
In her thought-provoking lecture, biblical scholar Sr. Reid offers an exploration of Luke's portrayals of women and the challenges that his ambiguous message about Mary Magdalene and women proclaimers of the Word pose for today's Church. No evidence of her being a prostitute or sinner. Pope Gregory the Great conflated Luke 7. She is not the forgiven woman or woman caught in adultery or with anonymous woman who anointed Jesus.
The Gospels actually say that she and other Galilean women ministered with Jesus, witnessed his death and was the first to encounter the Risen Christ. Luke 8 identifies Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Susanna as business partners with Jesu, accompanying him as he goes from town to town.
In the story of the Risen Christ, the women tell Peter the good news of the Risen One, but, their word is rejected.
No woman outside infant narrative speak, women choose the better part by remaining silent. Luke 24:9 Women are subject, but not believed in Resurrection narrative
Luke intent on restricting women to silent, passive roles.
Reduces naming women until 24:10.
Role of male disciples to give witness, primacy of Peter.
If women desire to speak, they will not be believed.
For men to interpret and proclaim, according to Luke.
Witness of women dismissed as nonsense!
Silencing of women in Luke and Acts.
Now, in more recent years, Barbara Reid has a different perspective on Luke.
In Luke 1 and 2, the women do speak in prophetic voice.
There are positive portrayals of women in Luke.
So now she believes we can conclude that there is a more ambiguous message in Luke about silencing of women and hearing their prophetic witness .
In Luke there is significant proclamations by Mary and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth interprets action of God in taking her humiliation away,
Elizabeth gives a threefold blessing on Mary.
The Magnificat has parallels in Exodus 15 as well as Hannah's prayer.
This is a canticle that the early Christians sang. (Miriam, Hannah, and on the lips of Mary what God is doing for them. Not totally Luke's composition but he put this on Mary's lips because they were hymns that we sung in the early church.
Mary, mother of Jesus, response echoes response to discipleship, "let it be done unto me according to your will." forshadows Jesus response.
Mary's reflectionJesus feeding hunger and healing acts, and parables.
Ana's canticle echoes Zechariah and arcs forward to road of Emmaus. 
She now believes that in Luke women are not more silent than men.
Connections between Galilean women in Luke 8 and Luke 23 and 24.
Different conclusion: Now 
1-2 linked to 23-24
Sr. Barbara sees rejection of women by male disciples  in  Luke 23 and 24 as the treatment of women at tomb, as affirmation of women who proclaimed the Word faithfully.
Women are  the connection back to Jesus ministry in Galilee.
Women who saw crucifixion were ones who followed from Galilee Luke 8:1-3
Luke 24:6-8 implies that these women were present in chapter 9 and 15
Women as faithful discples both hear the word and act on the word.
The Galilean women remembered his word, and acted on it, God's remembrance of mercy in saving action. 
The women are the good soil who bear fruit.
The women at tomb remembered Jesus words in Galilee and continue his saving action.
The women's spontaneous proclamation 24:10 continue to proclaim the word to the male apostles.
Luke 24:10 the name of women witneses
 are given.
Although Luke 23 and 24, can be read as affirming women's roles.
In Acts, women fall completely silent.
Luke has a double message, so,we must take a dual approach,
enter into it and stand apart from it and raise questions for well-being of church and world. 
We should ask questions about why women cannot proclaim Gospel.
Do not women and lay men merit preaching the mystery of faith?
Preacher of Sunday homilies can be women of holiness, should not be limited to men.
Need for a more incisive presence of women ministering in the church!
Mary of Magdala and the Galilean women are beacons of hope that the word preached by women will be heard and preached.
Images of God should not be limited to male only metaphors.
Crisis of imagination when the only name for God is father.
Myriad images in scripture for God, some are feminine, some are masculine.
It matters. 
In our public prayer, how do we address God.
If we only speak with male language, then we are saying that males are creating more in the image of God than women are .
Need to rewrite liturgies and hymns.
"God is more than two men and a bird", as Sandra Schneiders said.

 once said. 

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