Today's sermon at St.Micheal was about Mary of Egypt.It seems Mary was a soiled dove who was very good at her business.When people would go on pilgrimages Mary took her show on the road to drum up business.At some point Mary found out about Jesus and God and converted from a lifestyle of selling her self to going into the desert and living a life of penance and prayer.They say that many years later when people would find her in her desert retreat they could not tell if she was a man or woman.
Today is the day when the orthodox church celebrates women.For far to long woman by religious status have not been seen in a good light.They were considered unclean by Jewish law and in our own church, not so many years ago, they were not even allowed to be members of the church.A bad rap given to we females by the clergy related to Eve and the apple no doubt.
Jesus loved women there are many stories in the bible when Jesus sat and talked with women and had women friends who admired and followed him.When Jesus was crucified it was the women who stood at the foot of the cross and wept,It was the women who went to the tomb on Easter morning to embalm him,A woman wept on his feet and dried them with her hair,Women feed him,learned from him and later preached his word and to reciprocate for their loyalty Jesus first appeared to the three women on Easter morning while the apostles were hiding in fear of their lives.
Woman are,in most cases,the first person a child learns religion from.Mothers teach their children to pray and tells them stories from the bible.Mothers,for the most part,are nurturing and teach empathy and values.Women bring the feminine side to a boy which combined with what his father teaches him allows him to grow to be a complete man.
Of course men don't do so well in the bible stories either.The apostles seemed to miss the point allot of the times and lets not forget the Tax Collectors,Jewish leaders and the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus.But I think women get put in the position of living up to a higher standard.The fact that many women in the bible are prostitutes seems to be one of the worst things a woman could be during that time, of course no one mentions the name of the men they were sleeping with.The fact that the bible was written by men then rewritten by monks during the middle ages probably doesn't help.Women at that time were expected to be either chaste and pure like the virgin Mary or a prostitute.Both standards definitely off the mark of what women's lives were really like during the dark ages.
So here we are all these centuries later still discussing why women can not be priest and why,some women,are still working at the oldest profession.I guess we really haven't evolved much now have we.