Posted November 26, 2012
Book: Women of the New Testament: Their lives, our hopes
Author: Pia Septien
Liguori Press. Liguori, Missouri. 2012. pp. 127
An Excerpt from the Jacket:
In Women of the New Testament, Pia Septien introduces you to eleven women who encountered the living God. Some knew him personally and spoke with him, like Mary Magdalene and the sisters, Martha and Mary. Others, like Elisabeth, recognized him as God even before he was born. In their friendships with Christ, these women found strength for their lives. Their stories are offered here in prose, with reflections on the virtues and lessons they teach us, notes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, questions for the individual and group, and prayers.
An Excerpt from the Book:
The Widow's Offering
He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, "Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood."
In our lives, the concern for having a good reputation, the desire to have the affection of relatives and friends, material goods and respect, and the need t come off well before others are always there. When any of these is missing, we lose sleep and sometimes our appetite, until our hair falls out due to anxiety. We get stomach pains, get upset easily, and end up always dreaming of receiving hugs and applause from other, and even winning the lottery. And if we add to this the fact that we live in a society where accumulating goods, being the best, having more, being the most-loved, and being the most known are not only highly valued but actively encouraged. Recall that this old widow, who gave everything she had to God, sets an example for us of totality; total trust in God's providence and total self-giving.
. . .Jesus tells us: "So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil"
Table of Contents:
I. Women who recognized God in a little child
II. Women who recognized the greatness of God
The widow's offering
Martha and Mary
III. Women who experienced the love and salvation of Jesus
A woman who suffered from a hemorrhage
The Samaritan woman
The faith and perseverance of a non-Jewish woman