It’s hard to believe that October is upon us. During these continued strange days of “life with Covid,” you may feel like it took forever to get here or that the time has flown by. For myself, I can’t characterize the speed of time, but I am a bit in awe that October is here. For about a year and half, I have been working with an amazing group of faith-filled women to plan our “Made for JOY!” event and it’s finally happening this month!
And how fitting that our Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference event is scheduled in October. This is the month of special dedication to the Blessed Mother and the Rosary, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary being on October 7. And there are other special feast days that honor holy women of the Church this month: today is the feast of St. Therese Lisieux, the Little Flower; October 5 is the feast of St. Faustina Kowalska, to whom we owe our devotion to Christ’s Divine Mercy; we honor St. Teresa of Avila on October 15; and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who taught the faithful devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is honored on October 16. My own mother’s birthday is in October (St. Faustina is in good company on her feast day). In my mind, October is a very special month for women of faith.
While the planning for this upcoming event began in the spring and summer of 2019, I believe that recent weekday Gospel readings have been preparing us for it in a particular way. There has been a theme of discipleship underlying the Gospels in the past couple of weeks. We have heard about the call of St. Matthew (Mt 9:9-13), the sending of the Twelve to proclaim the Kingdom and heal the sick (Lk 9:1-6), and the reminder that fidelity to Christ calls for humility (Lk 9:46-50).
Most memorable and meaningful to me is the Gospel from September 18, Luke 8:1-3. In this passage, we hear that Jesus is proclaiming the Kingdom of God, accompanied by his Apostles and several women, who also “provided for them out of their resources.” I am struck by the mention of these women, some of whom are explicitly named, women of faith who are walking with Jesus and the Twelve to proclaim the Good News. These women support the mission and the message not only with their presence, but also with their resources. As we hear in this Gospel and as we know from the many feast days honoring holy women, women of faith have always been present and important in the life of the Church. Today is no different.
And so, in this month dedicated to our Lady with special emphasis on the Rosary, in a month that seems specially marked for women of faith, we prepare for the “joy of renewed community” as women around the Archdiocese are invited to pray, worship, and learn together on October 24 at St. Joseph’s Church Fullerton. When we women of faith gather to hear and to witness to the Good News, we will be reminded that we are “Made for JOY!” I hope you can join us!