Apr 20th - Hildegun of Schönau
I do not want to cause any consternation by mentioning today's saint but I do want to explore our roles in life. Let me start by saying that I believe that "God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27) I also believe that that says more than we often read on the surface. There are many stories of women who dress and pass for boys or even men, some of which are probably true, Joan of Arc being a case in point. But they knew she was not a man, nor did she pretend to be one. What she was was herself. She served God as herself. There is a lot of talk nowadays about "gender identity" and "gender equality" yet if we look through history we might not give it a name but give it an understanding: that while gender physicality is one thing the gender of the soul is another. We black and white traits as male or female but that is not the case. We are each individuals and therefore are a balance of male and female traits. Compassion, sympathy, piety, humility...these are often seen as "weak" traits and are therefore most often associated with women - but that is not true because they are the traits of Christ. We are a complex mix of the traits of God. Our "identity" then, is as children of God. Traits are neither weak or strong (i.e. female or male) they are traits that reflect God (at least the good ones). We each have different gifts, various strengths and weaknesses, and that, as Paul tells is, is the nature of the body (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31).
Our role, whether male or female is to live for Christ, to emulate Christ, to be who we are uniquely born to be. One does not have to physically be male or female to accomplish living for Christ. No matter how we feel about our physical nature we must be true to our spiritual one which comes to us from God.
Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.
-- Galatians 3:23-29
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