The whole ministry of Jesus, as we know about it in the gospels, was one of liberating, redeeming, and radical love. Jesus’ ministry was rebellious and scandalous for many reasons, but one reason that emerges regularly is his inclusion of women. He debated with women, he healed women, he befriended and defended women.
Jesus, of course, did not write an autobiography, nor did he tell his disciples to take notes for future reference. So given the patriarchal world in which he lived, it is astounding that women’s experience wound up recorded as much as it was! But central to Jesus’ mission — from birth through death and into a new beginning — was love.
If feminism is the radical notion that women are fully people, the gospel is the radical reality that all people are fully children of God.
Today is Ascension Day, signaling Jesus’ ascension to heaven, observed on the 40th day of Easter. This message is adapted from “Faith Reflections: My feminism” written by Elyse Nelson Winger in the March/April/May 2005 issue of Cafe magazine.