Today is International Women’s Day, a celebration that goes back to 1911. The global theme for 2021 is: “Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world.” It is most appropriate that, here in the IMBISA Region, we celebrate this special observance.
It is universally admitted – even by people with a critical attitude towards the Christian message – that in the eyes of his contemporaries Christ became a promoter of women’s true dignity and of the vocation corresponding to this dignity. At times this caused wonder, surprise, often to the point of scandal: “They marveled that he was talking with a woman” (Jn 4:27) because this behavior differed from that of his contemporaries.
Even Christ’s own disciples “marveled”. The Pharisee to whose house the sinful woman went to anoint Jesus’ feet with perfumed oil “said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner’ ” (Lk 7:39). Even greater dismay, or even “holy indignation”, must have filled the self-satisfied hearers of Christ’s words: “the tax collectors and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you” (Mt 21:31) (John Paul II. Mulieris Dignitatem §12).
Happy International Women’s Day to all the women in the IMBISA region and beyond!
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