Where are the women? The long-standing practice of the Church is to read through Acts during Eastertide to follow the development of the people of the Way into what will become of the Church. Given that the Gospel of Luke and Acts are presented as having been written by the same hand, it is striking how many women and girls there are in Luke and how few in Acts. Might we need a miracle greater than resurrection for equity in the Church? We also take note that the world in which these texts were penned and preserved was one in which the tensions between the Jewish followers of Jesus and the rest of the Jewish community were tense and sharpening, resulting in “us/them” language to differentiate the communities. Even with those lines of separation, Jesus and the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary and his disciples did not stop being Jewish. Nevertheless, Peter’s rhetoric to his Jewish kin, “you killed him,” in Acts is read in this world where it has been used to justify horrific violence against Jewish people. We have not inherited a perfect Church. We have not inherited a completed Church. The Church is moving towards its completion. While we wait for Jesus, the work of perfecting the Church falls to us with the help of the Holy Spirit.
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