I am moved by one in particular: the healing of a woman who for 18 years "was bent over and could not fully straighten herself" (cf. Luke 13:10). Jesus called her and said: "Woman, you are free from your infirmity." Immediately she was made straight and praised God.[And, I might add, she represents men as well, who might not be directly bent over by patriarchal repression, but, nonetheless, in their own way, are twisted by this reflection of original sin in culture.]
That woman, whom Jesus called and to whom he said, "you are free!" who now can raise her head, look at people in the face, see the sky, glorify God and feel like a person again, is a powerful symbol. She is not just one woman; she represents the feminine condition. She is every woman who does not walk bent over, not because of an illness, but because of the oppression to which she has been subjected to in almost all cultures. What freedom and what hope is contained in this cry of Jesus!
Friday, November 11, 2005
In praise of woman ...
Fr. Cantalamessa on this Sunday's reading from Proverbs. (Zenit)