Today, September 18
Feast of the Day
No feast of the day
Saint of the Day
Readings of the Day
First Letter to the Corinthians 15:12-20.
Brothers and sisters : If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit; attend to my outcry; hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my word. Show your wondrous mercies, O savior of those who flee from their foes Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings. I in justice shall behold your face; on waking I shall be content in your presence.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 8:1-3.
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
The female presence in the sphere of the primitive Church was not in any way secondary (…) It is to St Paul that we are indebted for an ample documentation on the dignity and ecclesial role of women. He begins with the fundamental principle according to which for the baptized: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3: 28), that is, all are united in the same basic dignity, although each with specific functions (cf. I Cor 12:27f.). The Apostle accepts as normal the fact that a woman can "prophesy" in the Christian community (I Cor 11:5), that is, speak openly under the influence of the Spirit, as long as it is for the edification of the community and done in a dignified manner. (…) We have already come across the figure of Prisca or Priscilla, Aquila's wife who, surprisingly, is mentioned before her husband in two cases (cf. Acts 18: 18; Rom 16: 3): In any case, both are explicitly described by Paul as his "collaborators" (Rom 16: 3) (…) It should also be noted that Paul's short Letter to Philemon is actually also addressed to a woman called "Apphia" (cf. Phlm 2) (…) and it must be said that she must have held an important position in the community at Colossae. In any case, she is the only woman mentioned by Paul among those to whom he addressed a Letter. Elsewhere, the Apostle mentions a certain "Phoebe", described as "a deaconess of the Church at Cenchreae" (…) (Rm 16,1-2). Although at that time the title had not yet acquired a specific ministerial value of a hierarchical kind, it expresses a true and proper exercise of responsibility on the part of this woman for this Christian community (…) In the same epistolary context the Apostle outlines with delicate touches the names of other women: a certain Mary, then Tryphaena, Tryphosa and "the beloved" Persis, as well as Julia (Rom 16: 6, 12a, 12b, 15) (…) Furthermore, in the Church at Philippi two women were to distinguish themselves, Euodia and Syntyche (cf. Phil 4: 2). Paul's entreaty to mutual agreement suggests that these two women played an important role in that community. In short, without the generous contribution of many women, the history of Christianity would have developed very differently.