Lent, Day 7

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Some have been led to believe that because God came in flesh as a man, God is therefore male. Men used this idea and assumed superiority to women. But if one believes that man is superior, then any feminine qualities of God would be lost or pushed to the side by the patriarchy.

Had Jesus been a woman there would have been nothing revelatory about his way of life; women were expected to live and behave this way. But because he was a man, Jesus’ choice of lifestyle stood out as a contradiction of the current definition of masculinity and thus of humanity as defined by the dominant male culture. But Jesus, choosing to live out a repudiation of the male value system, was recognized by friends and foes alike as possessing an arresting authority (Mk 1:8; Jn 11:48). So effective was his stereo-typically feminine approach that he was perceived as a threat to both state and Church. Thus Jesus undermined the accepted definition of humanity and challenged both men and women to conversion. He challenged men to abandon both their assumption of human superiority and the grounds upon which they based that claim. And he challenged women to value the traits which they had been taught to despise in themselves because they were despised by men.  (Women and the Word, Sandra M. Schneiders)

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