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Women in Luke & John: Incredible Abundance of Sinners & Saints. R.E. Congress – Session 3:14 Fr. Felix Just, S.J. Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA http://catholic-resources.org. Incredible Abundance?. Lectionary Cycle: Year A: Matthew Year B: Mark Year C: LUKE

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Women in luke john incredible abundance of sinners saints l.jpg

Women in Luke & John:Incredible Abundanceof Sinners & Saints

R.E. Congress – Session 3:14

Fr. Felix Just, S.J.

Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA


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Incredible Abundance?

  • Lectionary Cycle:

    • Year A: Matthew

    • Year B: Mark

    • Year C: LUKE

    • JOHN: esp. Lent & Easter

  • Gospel according to LUKE:

    • Many more Prayers, Parables, Poor & Needy…

    • Prominence of WOMEN (also in John)  session 3:14

    • Role of HOLY SPIRIT (also in Acts)  session 7:14

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Women in the Four Gospels

  • Mark and Matthew: Fairly Few Women

    • Some named, some anonymous, some fictional

    • See http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Synoptics_Women.htm

  • LUKE: Many More Women Prominent

    • See handout (front side) for a complete list

    • Luke’s Sources:

      • Mk = stories from Mark (and usually also in Matthew)

      • Q = stories from “Q” source (also in Matt, but not Mark)

      • L = stories found only in Luke (not in Matthew, nor Mark)

  • JOHN: Fewer Women, but Highly Significant

    • Fewer but longer stories in John’s Gospel overall!

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Named Women in MARK’s Gospel ?

  • Named Women:

    • Mary, Mother of Jesus:

      • Anonymous in Mark 3:19b-21, 31-35 (Jesus’ family comes)

      • Mentioned indirectly: Jesus called “Son of Mary” (Mark 6:3)

    • Herodias, wife of Herod Philip and of Herod Antipas

      • Full story only in Mark 6:17-29 & Matt 14:3-12

    • Women at the Cross & Tomb: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James & Joses, and Salome

      • But not before Mark 15:40-41; 15:47; 16:1-8

      • [Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene: 16:9 – later addition]

  • Anonymous Women: (more slides below)

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Mary, Mother of Jesus, in MARK

  • Anonymous in Mark 3:19b-21

    • “Then he went home / and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. / When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’ ” (not in Matt, Luke, or John!)

  • Anonymous in Mark 3:31-35

    • “Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. / A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers [and sisters] are outside, asking for you." / And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" / And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! / Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.’ ”

    • Similar in Matt 12:46-50; shorter in Luke 8:19-21

  • Mentioned only indirectly (“off-stage”) in Mark 6:3

    • “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Maryand brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”

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Jesus’ True Family

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Herodias & Daughter in MARK

  • Herodias causes John the Baptist’s arrest

    • Mark 6:17-18; similar in Matt 14:3-4; Luke 3:19-20

    • “For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. / For John had been telling Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.’ ”

  • Herodias & daughter cause John Baptist’s death

    • Mark 6:19-29 & Matt 14:5-12 (not in Luke or John)

    • Herodias wanted to kill John, but couldn’t

    • Herod’s birthday dinner; Herodias’ daughter dances

    • Collusion of girl and mother; John B. is beheaded

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Daughter of Herodias(Mark 6:22-29)Woodcuts by Gustave Doré(1890’s)

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Women at the Cross in MARK

  • Mark 15:40-41 – Witnesses of Jesus’ Crucifixion

    • “There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. / These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem”

    • Similar in Matt 27:55-56; John 19:25-27; anon. in Luke 23:49

    • Not “near” nor “at the foot of the cross” (only in John)

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Jesus’ Crucifixion(how close are the women?)Gustave Doré

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Women at the Tomb in MARK

  • Mark 15:47 – Witnesses of Jesus’ Burial

    • “Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.”

    • Similar in Matt 27:61; anon. in Luke 23:55-56

  • Mark 16:1-8 – Witnesses of the Empty Tomb

    • “When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him…”

    • Similar in Matt 28:1-8; not named until Luke 24:10-11

  • [Mark 16:9-11 – Jesus appears to two Marys – added 2nd Cent.]

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Jesus’ Burial & Empty TombGustave Doré

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  • Women Healed/Raised by Jesus:

  • Simon (Peter)’s Mother-in-law

    • Mark 1:29-31; also in Matt 8:14-15; Luke 4:38-39

  • Daughter & Wife of Jairus

    • Mark 5:21-43; shorter in Matt 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56

  • Woman with a flow of blood

    • Mark 5:25-34; shorter in Matt 9:20-22; Luke 8:43-48

  • Syrophoenician Woman & Daughter

    • Mark 7:24-30; “Canaanite” in Matt 15:21-28; not in Luke

  • Function as “Positive Role Models” in Mark’s Gospel

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Anonymous Women in MARK (cont.)

  • Other Women as Positive Role Models:

  • Poor Widow at the Treasury

    “He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. / A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. / Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. / For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ ”

  • Mark 12:41-44; also Luke 21:1-4;[but not in Matt or John]

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Anonymous Women in MARK (cont.)

  • Other Women as Positive Role Models:

  • Woman who anoints Jesus at Bethany

    • Mark 14:3-9; Matt 26:6-13; [Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8 different]

    • Not Mary Magdalene

    • Not called a “sinner”

    • Anoints Jesus’ head

    • Prepares for Jesus’ death

    • “What she has done will be told in memory of her”

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Anonymous Women in MARK (cont.)

  • Women with Lesser Roles:

  • Servant girl who challenges Peter in the courtyard

    • Mark 14:66-72; Matt 26:69-75; Luke 22:56-57; John 18:16-17

  • “Sisters” of Jesus

    • Mark 6:3; Matt 13:56; not in Luke

  • Daughter of Herodias

    • Mark 6:22-28; Matt 14:6-11; not in Luke

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Brief References to Women in MARK

  • Mark 10:2-12 – Jesus teaches about Divorce

    • More extensive in Matt 19:3-12; only briefly in Luke 16:18

  • Mark 10:19 – Jesus quotes the Decalogue

    • “Honor your father and your mother” (also Matt 19:19; Luke 18:20)

  • Mark 10:29-30 – Jesus promises rewards for his disciples

    • “No one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake...” (also Matt 19:29; Luke 18:29)

  • Mark 12:18-27 – Sadducees question Jesus

    • Case of a woman with seven husbands (also Matt 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-40)

  • Mark 13:12 & 17 – Jesus’ Apocalyptic Discourse

    • “Children will rise against parents…” (also Luke 21:16; earlier in Matt 10:21)

    • “Alas for those with child or nursing in those days” (also Matt 24:19; Luke 21:23)

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Additional Women in MATTHEW ?

  • Overview:

    • Four OT Women mentioned in Genealogy of Jesus

    • Mary, mother of Jesus, mentioned in Infancy Narrative

    • No additional namedwomen characters in Matthew!

    • A few new stories involving anonymous women

  • Four OT Women in Genealogy (Matt 1:1-17):

    • Tamar (Matt 1:3; see Gen 38)

    • Rahab (Matt 1:5a; see Josh 2)

    • Ruth (Matt 1:5b; see Ruth 2–4)

    • Wife of Uriah[Bathsheba] (Matt 1:6; see 2 Sam 11–12)

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Mary, Mother of Jesus, in MATTHEW

  • Mary Named in Matthew’s Infancy Narrative (4x):

    • Matt 1:16 – Near end of Genealogy: “...Joseph the husband of MARY, of whom Jesus was born…”

    • Matt 1:18-25 – At the birth of Jesus: “When his mother MARY had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit... ‘Do not be afraid to take MARY as your wife… She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus…’ … ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son...’ ” (citing Isa 7:14 LXX)

    • Matt 2:11a – At the Magi's Visit: “On entering the house, they saw the child with MARY his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.”

    • Matt 2:13, 14, 20, 21 – After being told in dreams, Joseph takes “the child and his mother” to Egypt, and later returns to Israel

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Mentions of Women only in MATTHEW

  • Feeding of the Multitudes

    • “…five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matt 14:21)

    • “…four thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matt 15:38)

  • Pilate's Wife (only in Matt 27:19)

    • “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.’ ”

  • Jesus appears to two women returning from the tomb:

    • “Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of 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.’ ” (only Matt 28:9-10; later added to Mark 16:9-11)

    • Different story in John 20:11-18

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Women in MATTHEW’s Parables

  • Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:

    • “...his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions…” (only in Matt 18:25)

  • Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

    • Only in Matt 25:1-13

  • Parables of a Woman using Yeast

    • In both Matthew and Luke (see below)

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More about Women in MATTHEW

  • Sermon on the Mount, on Adultery:

    • “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5:27-28)

  • Sermon on the Mount, on Divorce:

    • “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matt 5:31-32; briefly in Luke 16:18)

  • More Teachings about Divorce

    • Matt 19:3-12 more detailed than Mark 10:2-12 (not in Luke)

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References to Women in Q-Source

  • Texts in both Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark:

  • Divisions within Households:

    • “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matt 10:35; Luke 12:53)

  • Conditions of Discipleship:

    • “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt 10:37; Luke 14:26)

  • Jesus speaks about John the Baptist:

    • “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matt 11:11; Luke 7:28)

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References to Women in the Q-Source

  • Seeking Signs:

    • “The Queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!” (Matt 12:42; Luke 11:31)

  • New Parable: A Woman Using Yeast

    • “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” (Matt 13:33; Luke 13:20-21)

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References to Women in the Q-Source

  • Jesus’ Lament over Jerusalem:

    • “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matt 23:37b; Luke 13:34)

  • Apocalyptic Discourse:

    • “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark.” (Matt 24:38; Luke 17:26-27)

    • “Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.” (Matt 24:41; Luke 17:35)

  • Summary on “Q”:

    • More words about women; no extra named characters

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More Women Characters in LUKE

  • Preview:

    • Elizabeth & Mary

    • Prophetess Anna

    • Widow of Nain

    • Anonymous Sinner who anoints Jesus’ feet

    • Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna

    • Martha & Mary of Bethany

  • Complete List:

    • See handout; see also Fr. Just’s website:http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Synoptics_Women.htm

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Elizabeth & Mary in LUKE

  • Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth is named; both are said to be righteous in old age (Luke 1:5-7)

  • Angel Gabriel and Zechariah each mention Elizabeth briefly (Luke 1:13, 18)

  • Elizabeth conceives and praises God for taking away her “disgrace” (being barren; Luke 1:24-25)

  • Annunciation: Gabriel visits Mary to proclaim Jesus’ birth; Mary agrees to do God’s will (Luke 1:26-38)

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Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)Gustave Doré

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Visitation & Magnificat (Luke 1:39-56)Jacques Tissot

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Elizabeth & Mary in LUKE

  • Visitation: Mary visits Elizabeth; Elizabeth praises Mary; Mary praises God in her “Magnificat” (Luke 1:39-56)

  • Elizabeth gives birth to a son; she (surprise!) names him “John” (Luke 1:57-61)

  • Mary goes with Joseph to Bethlehem; there she gives birth to her firstborn child (Luke 2:5-7)

  • Shepherds visit Mary & Joseph; Mary treasures all things in her heart (Luke 2:15-20)

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Nativity(Luke 2)Gustave Doré

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Elizabeth & Mary in LUKE (cont.)

  • “They” go to Jerusalem for “their” purification (Luke 2:22)

    • “Purification” is just for the woman, 40 days after giving birth

  • Both “parents” bring Jesus into the temple (Luke 2:27)

  • Simeon praises God, then speaks directly to Mary: “a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2:28-35)

  • Prophet-widow Anna praises God and speaks to the people about Jesus (Luke 2:36-38)

  • Both “parents” take Jesus to Jerusalem at age 12;only his mother speaks to him in the temple;she then “treasures” everything in her heart (Luke 2:41-51)

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Presentation in Temple (Luke 2:22-38)Jacques Tissot

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Infancy Narratives: Matt vs. Luke

  • Emphases of Matthew 1—2

    • Men:Abraham, King David, other kings of Israel, Joseph of Nazareth, Magi from the East, King Herod, chief priests & scribes, Herod Archelaus

    • Main Titles for Jesus: King of the Jews, Emmanuel

    • Emphases:obstacles, conflict, fear, murder, politics

  • Emphases of Luke 1—2

    • Women:Virgin Mary of Nazareth, Elizabeth, AnnaPoor & Aged: Shepherds, Zechariah, Simeon

    • Main Titles for Jesus: Savior, Lord, Son of God

    • Focus:glory, praise, joy;  poverty, humility, faith

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Which Gospel Inspired This?

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Other Named Women in LUKE

  • Galilean women supporting Jesus (Luke 8:1-3):

    • “…The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.”

  • Who are they?

    • Magd.: seven demons?

    • Joanna = Junia?

    • Susanna?

    • Named early in Luke, not just at cross & tomb

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Martha & Mary [of Bethany]

  • Luke 10:38-42

    • Martha serves as host, and complains that her sister doesn’t help her.

    • Mary sits at Jesus’ feet (like a disciple!) and is defended by Jesus.

  • Does Jesus really say, “…there is need of [only] one thing. Mary has chosen the [better] part…”? Why?

  • Woodcut by Gustave Dore

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Martha & Mary (Luke 10:38-42)

  • “Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks [diakonian]; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work [diakonein] by myself? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; 42 there is need of [only?] one thing. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

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Widow of Nain(Luke 7:11-17)

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New Miracles for Women in Luke

  • Jesus raises the only son of a widow in Nain

    • Story found only in Luke 7:11-17 (but similar to Daughter of Jairus)

    • Funeral procession going out of town gates

    • Miracle not primarily raising a man from the dead

    • More about the compassion of Jesus for a widow (husband already dead), restoring her only son to life

    • Jesus: “Do not weep”; “Young man, I saw to you, rise!”

    • Crowd: “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!”

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Crippled Woman

  • Luke 13:10-17

    • Jesus was teaching in a synagogue one Sabbath

    • Heals a crippled woman with words and touch

    • Synagogue leader objects

    • J: “Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the Sabbath day?”

    • People rejoice & praise

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Woman anoints Jesus (only Luke 7:36-50)

  • Not Mary Magdalene, not Mary of Bethany; occurs early, in Galilee

  • In Pharisee’s house; sinfulwoman enters

  • She weeps,kisses, anoints

  • Parable of two debtors

  • JC contraststheir actions

  • Her sins are forgiven

  • She’s shown great love

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More Female Characters in LUKE

  • Parable of a woman who lost & found a coin, then rejoices with her friends (Luke 15:8-10)

  • Parable of a widow fighting for her rights against an unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8)

  • Jesus speaks to wailing women in the crowd on the way to his crucifixion (Luke 23:26-31)

  • Two disciples(two men? or a married couple? only one named “Cleopas” in 24:18) on the road to Emmaus tell Jesus how some women of their group had gone to the tomb & had seen a vision of angels (Luke 24:22-24)

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Briefer Refs. to Women in LUKE

  • A woman in a crowd calls out to Jesus:

    • “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” (Luke 11:27-28)

  • Various Words of the Lukan Jesus:

    • “Wisdom is vindicated by all her children” (Luke 7:35)

    • In another parable, both men & women slaves are beaten by a wicked manager (Luke 12:45)

    • “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32; see Gen 19:15-26)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke:

  • Luke often PAIRS stories with men & women

    • Usually reinforcing the same basic point

    • Sometimes making contrasting points

  • Luke does so much more than any other Gospel

    • Mark has a few male/female pairs

    • Luke sometimes adds the story involving a woman

    • Luke often adds both stories (not found in other Gospels)

  • Abbreviations on following slides & on handout:

    • L = only in Luke; Q = in Luke & Matt; Mk = from Mark

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke:

  • Angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah (1:8-23 - L)Angel Gabriel appears to Mary (1:26-38 - L)

  • Canticle of Mary (Magnificat; 1:46-55 - L)Canticle of Zechariah (Benedictus; 1:68-79 - L)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke:

  • Simeon encounters the infant Jesus and his parentsin the Jerusalem Temple (2:25-35 - L)

  • Anna thanks God and prophesies about Jesusin the Jerusalem Temple (2:36-38 - L)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke (cont.)

  • Widow of Zarephat & Israelite widows (4:25-26 - L)Naaman the Syrian & Israelite lepers (4:27 - L)

  • Exorcism of a Demoniac at Capernaum (4:31-37 - Mk)Healing Simon’s mother-in-law at Capernaum (4:38-39 - Mk)

  • Centurion’s slave is healed (7:1-10 - Q)Widow of Nain’s son raised from dead (7:11-17 - L)

  • Naming twelve apostles of Jesus (6:12-16 - Mk)Naming women who accompanied Jesus (8:1-3 - L)

  • Jairus’ daughter is raised to life (8:41-42, 49-56 - Mk)Bleeding woman is healed (8:43-46 - Mk)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke (cont.)

  • Parable of the Good Samaritan (10:25-37 - L)Examples of Martha and Mary (10:38-42 - L)

  • Parable: neighbor at midnight asks for bread (11:5-8 - L)Parable: widow insistently asks for justice (18:1-11 - L)

  • A woman in a crowd shouts to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that bore you...” (11:27 - L)A man at a dinner tells Jesus, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” (14:15 - L)

  • The Queen of the South visits King Solomon (11:31 - Q)The Ninevites visited by the prophet Jonah (11:32 - Q)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke (cont.)

  • A crippled woman is healed by Jesus (13:10-17 - L)A lame man is healed by Jesus (14:1-6 - L)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke (cont.)

  • “Daughter of Abraham” = crippled woman (13:16 - L)“Son of Abraham” = Zacchaeus (19:9 - L)

  • Parable of man planting a mustard seed (13:18-19 - Mk)Parable of woman mixing yeast & flour (13:20-21 - Q)

  • Parable of shepherd looking for lost sheep (15:3-7 - Q)Parable of woman looking for lost coin (15:8-10 - L)

  • Example of two men together asleep (17:34 - Q)Example of two women grinding meal (17:35 - Q)

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Male/Female Parallels in Luke (cont.)

  • A servant girl questions Peter (22:56-57 - Mk)Two men also question Peter (22:58+59 - Mk/L)

  • Simon of Cyrene carries Jesus’ cross (23:26 - Mk)Jesus meets women on the way to Calvary (23:27-29 - L)

  • Joseph of Arimathea buries Jesus’ body (23:50-53 - Mk)Women see where Jesus is buried (23:55-56 - Mk)

  • Women find Jesus’ tomb empty (24:1-11 - Mk)Two disciples journey to Emmaus (24:13-35 - L)

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Questions for Reflection:

  • Why are Women so Prominent in Luke’s Gospel?

    • What does it say about the evangelist Luke?

    • What does it say about the early Christian Church?

  • What does Luke say to our Church today?

    • Rediscovering some “neglected” stories about women

    • Recognizing the roles of women: service & leadership

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JOHN: Prominent Female Characters

  • 2:1-12Jesus’ Mother at Wedding of Cana

  • 4:1-42Samaritan Woman at the Well

  • 11:1-45Martha & Mary at raising of Lazarus

  • 12:1-8Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus

  • 19:25b-27Jesus’ Mother & others at the Cross

  • 20:1-2Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb

  • 20:11-18Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

  • [8:1-11]The Woman caught in Adultery

    • [not originally in John, but a Lukan story?]

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Other Refs. to Women in JOHN:

  • 3:4 – Nicodemus asks about returning to his mother’s womb and being born a second time

  • 3:29 – John (Baptist) uses analogy of a bride & bridegroom

  • 6:42 – Jews claim they know Jesus’ “father and mother”

  • 9:18-23 – Parents of Man Born Blind (implicitly also the mother) are questioned by the Pharisees

  • 12:15 – Evangelist quotes “daughter of Zion” from Zech 9:9

  • 16:21 – Woman in labor: analogy for sorrow turning into joy

  • 18:16-17 – A woman twice challenges Peter in the High Priest’s courtyard

  • (see handout)

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[John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in Adultery]

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[John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in Adultery]

  • Not in the oldest/best copies of John’s Gospel

    • Omitted by P66, P75, Codex Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, etc.

    • Placed after John 7:36 in some ancient manuscripts

    • Placed after John 21:25 in some ancient manuscripts

  • Originally a Lukan story?

    • After Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53 in some ancient Bibles

    • Vocabulary & theology is closer to Luke than to John

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year C)

    • Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent (Years A&B)

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John 2:1-12 – Mother of Jesus at Cana

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Year C: Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

    • Also weekday: Jan. 7 (only if Epiphany is Jan. 8)

  • “Inaugural Event” of John’s Gospel

    • First “Sign” Jesus performsin Cana of Galilee

    • Result: His disciples begin to “believe” in Jesus

  • Mother’s Role?

    • Note: She’s never named in John’s Gospel

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John 2:1-12 – Wedding at Cana

A) 1-2: Temporal & Geographical Setting: “on the third day”; “a wedding in Cana in Galilee”

B) 3-4:  MOTHER of Jesus asks him about lack of more wine; Jesus responds: “...My hour has not yet come.”

C) 5:  MOTHER tells servants to do what Jesus says.

D) 6:  Details about Props: six stone water jars, holding 2 or 3 ‘measures’ (20-30 gallons) each, for Jewish purity rituals.

C') 7-8:  JESUS tells servants what to do, and they do it.

B') 9-10:  Steward tells Bridegroom about quality of new wine: “...you have kept the good wine until now.”

A') 11-12: Theological Summary: “the beginning of his SIGNS in Cana in Galilee”; “he revealed his glory; his disciples believed in him”

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John 4:1-42 – Samaritan Woman at the Well

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Year A: Third Sunday of Lent (RCIA Scrutinies)

  • Multiple Dialogues

    • Dual-meanings:

    • Flowing/living water

    • Thirst: physical/eternal

    • True worship

    • Messiah / “I am”

    • Food / work

    • Testimony / believing

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John 4:1-42 – Jesus & Samaritan Woman

  • Complex Literary Structure, in Two Main Parts:

    A) 1-4:  Transition: Jesus departs Judea, heads to Galilee, passing thru Samaria

    B) 5-6:  Intro: Jesus arrives about noon at Jacob's well, near town of Sychar

    C) 7-15:  Jesus and a Samaritan Woman dialogue about "living" Water and Thirst

    D) 16-19:  Jesus talks about the Woman's husbands; she says Jesus is a Prophet

    E) 20-26:  Jesus and the Woman dialogue about "true" Worship & the Messiah

    A') 27:  Transition: Jesus’ disciples return, wonder why he speaks with a Woman

    B') 28-30:  Woman goes back to town, tells people about Jesus; is he Messiah?

    C') 31-38:  Jesus and disciples dialogue about his Food and his/their Work

    D') 39:  Samaritan villagers come to believe in Jesus, due to Woman's testimony

    E') 40-42:  More Samaritans hear Jesus, come to believe he is Savior of the World

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John 11:1-45 – Raising of Lazarus?

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Year A: Fifth Sunday of Lent (RCIA Scrutinies)

  • Long, complex drama

    • Centers on two dialogues of Jesus with the sisters

    • Martha’s “confession” among strongest of NT:“Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the son of God, the one coming into the world.” (v. 27)

    • Raising Lazarus is almost an afterthought

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John 11:1-45 – Martha & Mary (& Lazarus)

A) 1-6: Introduction:

Jesus hears of Lazarus’ illness from Martha & Mary

B) 7-16: Jesus and disciples dialogue:

“Lazarus is dead!” (v. 14)

C) 17-27: Jesus and Martha dialogue:

about resurrection and life: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died” (v. 21)

C') 28-37: Jesus and Mary dialogue:

express sorrow and love: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died” (v. 32)

B') 38-44: Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

“Lazarus come out!” (v. 43)

A') 45-54: Conclusion:

Various reactions of “the Jews” – some believe, others oppose

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John 12:1-8 – Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus

Lucas Moser (1432)

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John 12:1-8 – Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Sundays: not used

    • Weekdays: Monday of Holy Week

  • John’s Anointing Story: Different from Synoptics

    • Anointer named: Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha & Lazarus

      • Not Mary Magdalene, nor anonymous, as in Synoptics

    • She’s not called a “sinner” (as in Luke 7)

    • Mary anoints Jesus’ feet (not his head, as in Mt & Mk)

    • One who objects to the waste is identified as Judas

    • Jesus defends her: “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial” (Jn 12:7)

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John 19:25b-27 – Women at the Cross

William BlakeJacques Tissot

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John 19:25b-27 – Women at the Cross

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Good Friday: part of the full Passion Proclamation

  • Jesus’ Mother and Other Women

    • “Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” (v. 25b)

    • “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ / Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.” (vv. 26-27)

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John 20:1-2 – Mary Magdalene at Empty Tomb

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John 20:1-2 – Mary Magdalene at Empty Tomb

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Easter Sunday: Years A/B/C (John 20:1-9)

  • How many women went to the tomb?

    • “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. / So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ ”

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John 20:11-18 – Jesus Appears to Mary Magd.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones: “The Morning of the Resurrection” (1882)

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John 20:11-18 – Jesus Appears to Mary Magd.

  • Risen Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalene

    • Mary weeps; Jesus “Woman, why are you weeping?”

    • Mary turns, but mistakes Jesus for the gardener

    • Jesus calls her name: “Mary!” She turns and recognizes

    • “Do not hold on to me” (noli me tangere)

    • Jesus commissions her with a message for the disciples

  • Mary Magdalene as “The Apostle to the apostles”

  • Lectionary for Mass:

    • Not on Sundays! [Why not?]

    • Weekdays: Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

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John 20:11-18 – Jesus Appears to Mary Magd.

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Questions for Reflection:

  • Which of the female characters in John’s Gospel is most important for you as a model of faith?

  • Which one do you find most inspiring?

    • Mother of Jesus?

    • Samaritan Woman?

    • Martha and Mary of Bethany?

    • Mary Magdalene?

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Your Comments and Questions?

  • Women in Mark or Matthew?

  • Women in LUKE?

  • Women in JOHN?

  • Women in Luke and John: Incredible Abundance: Few Sinners, Many Saints

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Additional Resources:

  • Fr. Just’s “Catholic Resources” Website:

    • Several pages on the Women in the NT

    • http://catholic-resources.org

  • Loyola Institute for Spirituality

    • St. Joseph Center, Orange, CAhttp://www.loyolainstitute.org

    • Exhibit Hall, Booth #362-368

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Audio CD Program

  • “New Testament: A Guided Tour”

    • Produced by “Now You Know Media”

    • Just released: January 2010!

    • Available in Exhibit Hall, Booth #282

    • http://store.nowyouknowmedia.com

  • CD “Signing”

    • Exhibit Hall, Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

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