How Equal is Equal - Anne Marie Lee - Jan 2nd 02

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HOW EQUAL IS EQUAL? Anne Marie Lee. Jan 2nd '02

"When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman..." Gal. 4:4

Reading this passage this evening it comes strongly to me that Jesus had to come into the world as a male. He had no choice. Had he come as female, men would have been marginalised even more than women have been. He had to be either one gender or the other if he was to be truly like us. If the Messiah had come as female the Word would not have survived 2,000 years in our minds and hearts or in our literature. Coming as male He survived because of the patriarchal society in existence at the time and since. It struck me this evening that His purpose in coming through the body of a woman was, apart from that being the human way of procreating, to elevate her to a position of equality with men.

Souls are neither male nor female, they simply 'are' as God 'is'. Souls are clothed in male and female characteristics like one might wear a blue coat or a red jumper. The difference being that gender is permanent, (well, with some exceptions), and clothing can be changed.

Had Jesus been female, men might have been excluded on the grounds that females carry each other in their wombs, in a line, down through the generations. Men are disconnected from each other and from the female, once they are born. Maybe that is why the family name of the man has always been so important. Jesus was of the line of David, but, through His mother. Jesus was making a huge statement about women but men refused to see it.

"I rejoiced when I heard them say: 'Let us go to Gods house'." Ps.121(122)

I love these words. I don't know who wrote them or what it meant to the author. To me there is a crowd of men, women and children and they choose to go in one direction. There is a sense that they will all be welcomed equally when they get there.

These thoughts come to me in my struggle to free myself to be fully alive in this Church of the People of God. To cut the cords of oppression and inequality that hold me down in the R.C.Church. Anne Marie Lee

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Answers

My sense these times (Advent and Christmas seasons) is that in the Incarnation, God came... comes... down, down, down... and I think of it as coming down in the middle of my head and right down through the middle of me, down, down... right down. And I think of a phrase from a poem (and I apply it in my way): He splits my atoms.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002

Dear Anne Marie,

Your comments of the male role of Jesus and the significance of gender roles is very intersting and warrents a great deal of reflection. Questions of Christology are tricky enough, and gender questions even more so. Any attempt to clarify these issues is fraught with difficulties which are both theological and cultural the cultural difficulties being that whatever anyone says on gender issues leaves them open to the dreaded accusation of Political inCorrectness. Hopefully, within our group, this topic can be further explored.

Martin

PS: By the way, you didn't draw any conclusions as to how your thoughts might affect the question of women in the priesthood.

-- Anonymous, January 02, 2002


Philip and Martin, Thank you both, sincerely, for your responses. I feel you both, in your own unique ways, understand my dilema, my pain. Here is my immediate response to you. Philip, I hear you saying to me that equality or inequality , it doesn't matter. I travel with others on the journey but God's relationship is with Anne Marie, not even with Anne Marie because that is only my name. His relationship is with who 'I am' He will split my atoms in a way that is totally unique to me. Martin, I would love to explore this issue further in the group. I have no problem with a male priesthood if both men and women are accepted as full members of the Christian Community and each can take their rightful place without oppression or domination. I will get into trouble for that but I have never felt a vocation to priesthood for myself. Priesthood isn't the issue for me. Equality and full membership of the Church is. Blessings. Anne Marie Lee 3rd Jan 2002

-- Anonymous, January 03, 2002

Greetings Anne Marie, a very happy New Year to you and to all in the group. Glad to see you are keeping the flag flying||.

On the above topic I thought a quotation from H.U. Von Baltasar from his essay on "The Marian Principle" might help the discussion.

"Without Mariology Christianity threathens imperceptibly to become inhuman. The Church becomes functionalistic, soulless, a hectic enterprise without any point of rest, estranged from her true nature by the planners, and because in this manly-masculine world, all that we have is one ideology replacing another, everything becomes polemical, critical, bitter, humourless, and ultimately boring, and people in their masses run away from such a church.

From the cross The Son hands his mother over into the church of the apostles; from now on her place is there. In a hidden manner her virginal motherhood holds sway throughout the whole sphere of the church, gives it light , warmth and protection; her cloak makes the church into a protective cloak. It requires no special gesture from her to show that we should look at the Son and not at her. Her very nature as handmaid reveals him. So, too, she can show the apostles and their successors how one can be both wholly effective presence and wholly extinguished service.. For the church was already present in her before men were set in office".

From Elucidations. pg.112/113.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2002


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