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!