The first reading today teaches us how God defines the relationship between man and woman. The focus of the text is on the equal status and mutual responsibility of man and woman. God said in verse 18, “I will make a helper suitable for him.” The significance of the woman being created second is to highlight man’s need for a partner, not to man’s authority over woman. See verse 24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Men leaving father and mother and living with his wife stresses the independence of the new family begun by marriage and its priority over all other human relationships.
Jesus confirms the Genesis 2:24 definition of marriage in Matthew 19:5. And Jesus considered women as persons equal with men. He respected women’s intelligence and spiritual capacity as he taught the truths to women such as Martha and Mary (Luke 10: 38-42) and the Samaritan woman (John 4:39-42). Jesus gives no hint that the nature of God’s will for women is different than for men. He made no distinction in the righteousness demanded of both. The issues facing all people at the last judgement apply equally to men and women: giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty, welcoming strangers, clothing the naked, and visiting those sick and in prison (Mt. 25:31-46).
In today’s second reading, Paul affirms that “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” It demands equal status and privileges for women as for men. In Christ, any group of people do not stand on different levels but as equals. This is the good news for today. IL-WOONG.
The Holy Spirit and You by Dennis and Rita Bennett. No other book has been more instrumental in helping countless individuals understand and live the Spirit-filled life than The Holy Spirit and You. Hailed as the key text on the correct and effective use of God’s supernatural gifts, this book has changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world…. The Reverend Dennis Bennett became one of the key figures in the early renewal movement when he announced to his St. Mark’s Episcopal Church congregation that he had experienced a new outpouring of God’s Spirit.
Soul Friend By Jo-Anne Berthelsen. Have you ever enjoyed an ongoing spiritual friendship with a wise mature Christian who is prepared to walk beside you, believe in you, pray for you, encourage you and challenge you not to give up? Soul Friend is an honest and intimate portrayal of the author’s own journey with her wise, spiritual mentor and the warm, life-giving relationship that developed between them during their fifteen years of meeting together. This story is written in the hope that it will inspire many not only to seek out such a spiritual friendship for themselves but also to provide such a friendship for another.