Monday, July 17, 2017

The Voice of a Woman

I was sitting around the table, looking at all the beautiful women who have been given the honor of being someone’s mother. I was listening as they shared memories of their children’s younger years, as they discussed all the “mom fails” and learning moments and as they sat in awe of the blessing God gave them in being a mother. It was then that I tuned-in to the voice of a woman. It’s so gentle and sweet, but has the ability to grab the attention of so many and demand respect as it gives instruction. It’s loving in its deliverance and travels long after it has been spoken.

 The voice of a woman carries a greater mission than I think anyone has ever tuned-in to notice. The soft sound that comes from a woman’s mouth is partnered with the purpose God gave it. A woman of faith has been crowned with a distinct, God-given voice. Who was the small, often unnoticed voice in the Bible? Women. Who has crumbled and sat speechless in the corner for far too long in the Church? Women. I think, as a woman, it’s time to recognize our voice and to lift it in order to follow the mission God placed in our hearts.  

 Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary’s cousin, was the first to proclaim the pregnancy which would bring forth our Savior. “Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.’” (Luke 1:41-42).

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is often noted to be, well, silent throughout the Bible. As Mary holds a small speaking role in the gospels, there is one story where her gentle voice meets the start of God’s mission. The Wedding at Cana is marked as the start of Jesus’ mission, and His mother, Mary, gives Him a firm push. “When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ [And] Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” (John 2:3-5). 

 When Jesus had to pass through Samaria, He came across a woman at the well of Jacob. After talking to her for a short time, He spoke truth and told her the things she had done. The woman, recognized she was speaking with the Messiah and immediately got up, “went into the town and said to the people, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?’… Later, “Many of the Samaritans of the town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman” (John 4:28-29, 39).

 After going to the tomb to find Jesus’ body missing, Mary Magdalene was alone when Christ appeared to her. “’Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?’… ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him, ‘Teacher.’ Jesus said to her… ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples. ‘I have seen the Lord.’” (John 20:15-18).

What an honor to be the first to tell of the coming of Christ and to share in Mary’s joy? How appropriate that Jesus’ mother be the first to command the start of His mission?  Isn’t it beautiful that the often ignored Samaritan woman spoke directly to the hearts of non-believers? Wasn’t it wonderful that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene and sent her to share His glory with the others?  God is constantly using women, and their small voice. I think it’s time women of the Church look into their hearts to see what God is calling them to share. What an amazing world this would be if we heard the voice of a woman.

So women, get up, go out and speak the message God instructed you to share! You may never know what your words can lead to, but if they are spoken in faith, they can only lead to goodness.

Jesus said, ‘I am the truth’, and it is your duty and mine to speak the truth.” –St. Teresa of Calcutta 

This post was written for the Catholic Faith Blog on 5/22/2017