Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Today’s readings

Today we get a bit of a glimpse as to how Jesus’ day-to-day ministry worked.  We can see three things in particular that characterize how things happened.  First, he journeyed to proclaim the Good News.  He met people where they were, and even sought them out.  This shows us God’s relentless pursuit of the people he loves.

Second, he brought people with him.  He travelled with the Twelve Apostles, some of the women he had cured of evil spirits and of illnesses, some particular women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna), and “many others.”  All of these were drawn to Jesus for various reasons.  We can assume they had all been given some gift: healing, a call to ministry, recognition of their worth – and all of them had responded by wanting to be near him.  This models for us our response to God’s work in our lives.

And finally, those travelling with him provided for his ministry out of their resources.  Some of the women were well-connected, especially Joanna, whose husband was a high official in the court of Herod Agrippa.  So she would have had resources to help with the ministry as well as leisure to follow Jesus.

We can hardly visit this gospel reading, though, and not notice the meticulous mention of the women that were among his followers.  In a day where a woman’s participation in anything of a public nature would be totally frowned upon, Jesus reached out to women, and brought them into his ministry.  Certainly the Evangelist would never have mentioned it if it weren’t important to the Gospel itself.

We come here today for Mass, aware that our God seeks us out in little and big ways every single day.  We too want to be close to him, and respond as did the Twelve, the women, and the “many others.”  Our desire for God and our yearning for forgiveness are themselves God’s gift to us.  Blessed are those who journey with Christ on the way.