The Perspective of Justice

A Different Way

Martha understood the place of women in their society. Like Sarah in the first reading, women were to bear children and cook the meals. They were to clean the house, like Martha was doing, and they were not to sit at the feet of the master educating themselves, like Mary was doing. Martha demands that Mary be made to ‘play the woman,’ but Jesus will not go along with the stereotype: “Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.”

How much women have suffered over the centuries because of the perception of their proper role! How much they have filled up in their own flesh “what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ!”

We are called by God to a different way. “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.” Justice to women is life in the presence of God: justice in the home, justice in the school, justice in the marketplace, justice in the business world, justice in the church. “She shall not be deprived of it”: such is the firm declaration of the Savior of men and women.

Sixty percent of all women work in only ten occupations, and most new jobs for women are in areas with low pay and limited chances of advancement.

Many women suffer discrimination in wages, salaries, job classifications, promotions, and other areas. As a result, they find themselves in jobs that have low status, little security, weak unionization, and few fringe benefits.

Such discrimination is immoral and efforts must be made to overcome the effects of sexism in our society.

U.S. Bishops, Economic Justice or All, 1986: 179

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson