“Great numbers of men and women were added to them.” The Luke author continues to reflect the egalitarian nature of the apostolic Jesus movement. Even for Hellenistic culture with its many different social, political, and all sort of “clubs”, this would have been unusual to be positioned to include women, and one can imagine other groups. This “neither Greek nor Jew, male or female, slave nor free” quality shapes the horizon of the Jesus community from the beginning.

Yet here we are today, still wrestling with this in our culture, where men think and act contrary to this egalitarian attitude and practice. One of the “fears” is that women won’t be women anymore and men won’t be men. That’s a mistaken conflation of the meaning of egalitarian and uniformity.

Jesus’ resurrection story in John beautifully recreates the scene in Genesis and the giving of the divine breath of life. Here, it is an empowerment for new life in the whole community which built around receiving peace that comes from forgiveness, reconciliation. This peace of Christ creates community and is deeply connected to the Eucharist.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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