Monday, October 25, 2010

Daughters of Abraham

'Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.' ~Lk 13:10-17

Today at Mass I heard this Gospel proclaimed. In my mind's eye I saw a group of "daughters of Abraham" who are and have been living for '... years ... crippled ... bent over, completely incapable of standing erect" ... or worse. Their faces are invisible as are their lives. They have no identity, no voice, not even enough vision with which to see the world. The clothing they are forced to wear is so heavy it all but weighs them down.

What would Jesus say to them? “Women, you are set free!”? Would He lay His sacred hands on one of them? Each of them? How would that be received?

What would He say to those who enshroud and enslave them? “Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering?” In other words, your dumb beasts have it better than your mothers, daughters, and wives!

These daughters of Abraham came from Ishmael. Are they less than the daughters of Isaac? If not, why are they kept in these canvas prisons? I wonder what Jesus would say ... and do ...

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