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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

December 30th, 2013
by
Claudia Brock
Bio | Email: ClaudiaBrock@creighton.edu

“And coming forward at that very time,
She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
To all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.”

I will admit that when I first sat down to examine the daily readings and write this reflection I was not met with the usual feelings of calm and wholeness I receive when I read through the holy readings.  I had only just gotten through the first reading when feelings of anger and shame bubbled up inside of me. I was trying to stay open to the holy word of God but I could not get passed the dominating masculine language.

The usage of “his name’s sake,” “fathers,” “young men,” and “Father is not in him” lead me to feel isolated and closed off to the message in front of me. It has not been the first time that my gender has made me feel like an outsider in the Church.

It is difficult enough to live in a society where women must tight rope on a line of socially acceptable behaviors. We must be attractive without being loose, coy without being prudish, independent without being a man-hater, and feminine without fully giving in to limiting gender norms. Then as a Catholic woman I go to a Church to participate in a mass that is facilitated by a male priest, listen to a Gospel written by male writers, and pray to a God who so many view as “Father.” It sometimes feels as though the Church is a “boys club” and I have struggled at times to feel totally included.

However, as I continued reading through the daily readings I was met with the Gospel and with a great surprise. The reading from the Gospel of Luke tells about an extremely devout prophetess named Anna who was responsible for telling many people about the birth of Christ and for the redemption they would soon receive. This beautiful image of a woman proclaiming the birth of the savior is a wonderful reminder that I may be a messenger of God.

Pope Francis recently said, “And it pleases me to think that the Church is not ‘il Chiesa’ [‘the Church’, masculine]: it is ‘la Chiesa’ [feminine]. The Church is a woman! The Church is a mother! And that’s beautiful, eh?” I agree that this is a beautiful sentiment and a reminder that ones gender is not a barrier to a fulfilling relationship with a loving God. Throughout the season of Christmas I hope to be reminded of the wonderful work of women in the Mother Church, especially Mary whose brave “yes” to God started it all. Like Anna I hope to be proclaim the good news of the birth of Christ in all that I do.

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