Daily Reading, May 10
An African woman perceives and accepts Christ as a woman and as an African. The commitment that flows from this faith is commitment to full womanhood (humanity), to the survival of human communities, to the ‘birthing’, nurturing, and maintenance of life, and to loving relations and life that is motivated by love.
Having accepted Christ as refugee and guest of Africa, the woman seeks to make Christ at home and to order life in such a way as to enable the whole household to feel at home with Christ. The woman sees the whole space of Africa as a realm to be ordered, as a place where Christ is truly ‘tabernacled’. Fears are not swept under the beds and mats but are brought out to be dealt with by the presence of the Christ. Christ becomes truly friend and companion, liberating women from assumptions of patriarchal societies, and honouring, accepting, and sanctifying the single life as well as the married life, parenthood as well as the absence of progeny. The Christ of the women of Africa upholds not only motherhood, but all who, like Jesus of Nazareth, perform ‘mothering’ roles of bringing out the best in all around them. This is the Christ, high priest, advocate, and just judge in whose kingdom we pray to be.
From “The Christ for African Women” by Elizabeth Arnoah and Mercy Amba Oduyoye, in With Passion and Compassion: Third World Women Doing Theology, edited by Virginia Fabella and Mercy Amba Oduyoye (Orbis Books, 1988).