Ecclesiasticus 26:1-4,13-16; Psalm 130(131); Luke 7:11-17
|Saint Monica (331 - 387)|
She was born at Thagaste in Africa of a Christian family. She was married young, to Patricius, and among her children was Augustine. He had a brilliant intellect and uncertain morals and his wayward spiritual career saw him at one time a Manichee and then a Neoplatonist. With many tears she prayed unceasingly to God for his conversion and her prayers were answered shortly before she died. She had a deep faith and outstanding virtue and is a wonderful example of a Christian mother.
Ecclesiasticus is in our reading this morning showing a deep awareness of the partnership between wife and husband - clearly focusing on how she completes him, as Ecclesiasticus says at the start of Chapter 25 - there are three things in which my soul delights, concord within the family, friendship between neighbours and a wife and husband who live in harmony. The book was written in an hellenistic society, and sadly, women were rather treated as belong to men in that world. There are certainly traces of this throughout the book, in general the work is saying that men have responsibilities to care for women with full respect for their dignity and value, and that these responsibilities must be taken seriously. The lack of a female voice in this book does not mean that their voice is not valued. St Monica, amongst many many others, gives us an example of how important all people are to our salvation.