Saturday of Lent 4
And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmitiesóMary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herodís steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. ó Luke 8:2Ė3:
We have heard how our Lord Christ was bereft of daily bread during His humiliation. From His birth on, Christís life is truly a Passion story. To satisfy His hunger, He ate. To quench His thirst, He drank. When He was weary, He slept. He was plagued with poverty. He was troubled by sorrow and abused with insults. While Christís life was one of grief and pain, His intensified suffering would come during the last two days of His life, when He undertook His great passion.
But Christ wasnít wholly bereft of comfort and of daily bread during His state of humiliation. While He dwelt in great poverty, our Heavenly Father provided Jesus with daily bread through the ministrations of women. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna were among the names immortalized in Sacred Scripture.
Jesus, by the power of His Gospel, graciously and gratuitously cast out demons and healed sicknesses. While these women could never repay Christ, they showed their love and thanks for Him by supporting Him as He preached and taught. Not only that, but many of the Greek manuscripts point to the fact that the women ministered not only to Jesus, but also to the disciples.
Those who preach the Gospel ought to live from the Gospel. Christ received daily bread from faithful members of the church. The disciples, future preachers and teachers, were supported in the same way. When we financially support our pastors, who come to preach His Gospel, we are serving Christ Himself.
Heavenly Father, You supported Your dear Son through the loving ministrations of faithful women. We beseech You, give us cheerful hearts to support the preaching of the Gospel and the faithful administration of the Sacraments with our prayers and with our money. Help us to love those preachers whom You have sent in Your Sonís name, so that we might serve them as we would serve Christ. Amen.