Sunday, March 8, 2009

International women’s day. Women as the womb (bread) of life: From the floor to the table

March 8th is being celebrated as the International Women’s Day and women all over the world will get together to do things the way they want it done. To see and let see the way they perceive things. As it comes during the season of prayer and fasting as well, it warrants a Christian response to what this day should then be.

Traditionally women have always been seen as child bearers, as surrogate mothers who help to bring children into the world. Their place has been relegated to a spot which suggests inferiority in comparison with males. The church has never been able to break free of this culture of discrimination and in turn has maintained a male caucus in the form of a halo around the church and its institutions. The bubble (halo) can never be justified and yet it has never been broken because no one has tried to pierce the hollowness it contains.

As we experience (I won’t say celebrate as that would be derogatory to some women who are in constant suffering) the international women’s day it is imperative to suggest a lenten involvement towards the setting right of many wrong’s that have penetrated our society. Fasting and prayer are meant to set right what has gone wrong and therefore we should also set right what is inarguably wrong.

Mother Teresa and sister Alphonso recently have been pushed up to the pinnacle of sainthood and yet these women were never near the table of the Lord, the altar (the holy of holies for Christians). They stood down faithfully on the cold floor waiting for the bread of life to be brought to them. Yet today they have been brought up to glory by a body of men in vestments.

The concept of communion or fellowship among Christians is to come together and partake of the body of the Lord Jesus. It is symbolic and real at the same time. The bread of life is prepared through a process which starts in the field and ends up at the table. So life is inherent and implicit in it. But what about the womb of life present in each woman? The life which begins in communion and ends with the creation of life. Indeed the womb (bread) of life! And yet women are kept at a safe distance. Life is kept away from life!

So this women’s day my prayer is simple. Let us as men move away from the two life giving realities of this world; the bread of life and the womb of life. Let there be a connection and a unification of the floor and the table. Let life meet life.

(Logo from

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