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Fam Min Director Exhorts HOLD Int’l Leaders: ‘Women have an important role in the life of the Church!’

DURING the HOLD International Missions Summit held last April 21, 2017 at the First Pacific Leadership Academy in Antipolo City, CFC IC member and Family Ministries Director Michael Ariola rallied women leaders representing 24 countries on the role women play in the Church. 


“Scripture  is  full  of  stories of  great  women  of  faith—mothers, wives, warriors, spies, wise women as well as naïve women.  In  the past  days,  in the  story  of  Christ’s passion and resurrection, we were reminded of the great role that women played in the ministry of Jesus,” Ariola began. 


He  added,  “There  was probably no prophet, to my knowledge, who recognized women  as  their  disciples or  students.  Only  Jesus acknowledged  women  as disciples, students and women on mission, similar to most of you.”


Ariola mentioned the presence  of  women  in  the  passion and resurrection stories. First,  it  was  the  women,  together with John the beloved disciple,  who  stayed  with Jesus at the foot of the cross. The women were also the first to be at the tomb very early in the morning of the resurrection. Lastly, the women were the first ones who were given the task to proclaim that He is truly risen.


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Ariola affirms, “First, each one  of  you  have  your  own story.  But whatever  that story is,  you  will  never  be alone, because Jesus is always with  you.  Second,  among the women who went to the tomb of  Jesus  early  in  the morning of the resurrection was a woman named Joanna. We’ve heard of Mary of Magdala,  Mary  the  mother of Jesus, but does anyone here know Joanna?” 


According to Bible commentaries, Joanna, a woman healed by Jesus, was among the women  first  at  the tomb.  And  she  was  also among  those  who  ran  to Peter to proclaim the resurrection of the Lord. 


“As  Catholics,  we  are  to proclaim Christ’s death and profess His resurrection. And like Joanna, we need not be popular in order to witness to Christ,” he emphasized.


He continued, “The first person  who  introduced me  to  the  loving presence of God and the Holy Spirit  was  my  mother. My dear sisters in HOLD, this is part of who we are, not  only  as  members of this  community,  but  as Catholics—we are called to proclaim that Jesus is truly risen. Let your faces show that Jesus is indeed alive!”


Ariola further exhorted the HOLD international leaders that as Easter people, as proclaimers  that  Jesus  is  risen, Catholics  must  allow their faces to reflect this. 


“Your  stories  may  be sad,  the  journey  taking too  long,  and  the pains you experience I can only imagine.  But  one  thing  I can promise each and every one of you, is that Jesus is with you,” assured Ariola.


As  a  final  word,  Ariola encouraged  the  women leaders: “And so, belonging to  a bigger  family  that  is Couples  for  Christ,  let  us take to heart the directions CFC has posed for the Family  Ministries: evangelize, evangelize,  evangelize… and  immerse  yourselves in purposeful  formation.” (Alma M. Alvarez)

Added on Tuesday, May 9, 2017


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