This morning’s gospel came from Luke 7. It contains the event in the saga of Jesus where a Pharisee breaks protocol. The Pharisee invites Jesus to his house but does not give him water to wash His feet, nor does he give Him a welcoming kiss, nor does he anoint His head with oil – all acts that a host of the time performed for any invited guest.
Some how a known prostitute, Mary Magdalene, slips into the Pharisee’s house. She cares deeply for Jesus, notes the slight of the host and falls to her knees, washing His feet with her tears, drying them with her hair and anointing them with perfume.
The Pharisee, who has only invited Jesus to mock him, chides Jesus for allowing such a woman to touch Him. Jesus uses a parable to teach the Pharisee that acts of great love demand forgiveness of great sins. The Pharisee knows this intellectually, but we never know if his knowledge has an impact on his behavior.
Jesus and His twelve followers leave the house of the Pharisee to travel from town to town, village. He and his retinue are followed by a group of women whom Jesus has helped in one way or another. Among the women are Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susana.
These women knew how to show love and respect. They helped to support Jesus and His disciples out of their own pockets. These women were the first “groupies”. Unlike modern “groupies”, sycophants, who offer their bodies to win a smile or a touch from the men they admire, the first “groupies” offered their means of survival to the Deity/Philosopher who loved and respected each.
Too bad too many women today make the age-old mistake of confusing kindness for weakness. The first “groupies” were proud and honorable women who knew exactly what they were doing and why.