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Mother's Day Ideas: Celebrate Women of Faith

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Seven Extraordinary Women of Faith of the Bible

 Adapted from


Eve - Genesis 2:4b and 3:1-24

God created Adam and found him wanting. Enter Eve, formed from Adam’s rib, made of the same raw materials as he, and given the power to choose between good and evil. In the creation story we find a strong, interdependent Eve, fully engaged with the world around her. She is portrayed as a worthy and equal partner to Adam. She explored the Garden, dialogued with a serpent, decided on the forbidden fruit, and liked it enough to share the experience with Adam.

Eve’s story reminds us that people can be both creative and destructive. She teaches us to weigh our choices carefully, tempering our desires with wisdom.


Deborah - Judges 4 and 5


In a time in which it was improper for a woman to be alone in a house with a man, Deborah sat outside beneath a palm tree and judged Israel. After 20 years of oppression, it was she who summoned the military general Barak to take ten thousand soldiers and storm Mt. Tabor against their enemy Sisera. Barak answered, “If you go with me.” Deborah agreed, but told Barak he’d receive no glory. “The Lord will have Sisera fall into the power of a woman.” This prophecy would have dual meaning, for not only would Deborah be remembered as the real leader of this victory, Sisera would literally fall because of a woman.


Deborah inspires us to trust our wisdom and instincts and to humbly accept the credit due us. A canticle (Judges 5) is dedicated to her bravery. Her example admonishes us to always remember and respect the power of a woman.


Ruth - The Book of Ruth


Their names say it all. Ruth, believed to be a short version of “retut,” or lovely friend, was the widowed daughter-in-law of Naomi. Naomi, also a widow, was exiled from Moab because of a famine and had returned to Bethlehem after the death of her sons. She told old friends, “Call me Mara, for the Lord has made it very bitter for me.” What Naomi missed is the sweetness of a special gift: Ruth. Naomi had released her grieving daughters-in-law to return to their people, but Ruth declared, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”


Fortunately for Ruth, Boaz, a close friend of Naomi’s husband’s family, noticed her charms and blessed her. That got Naomi’s attention, which goes to show you: a lovely friend can turn the heart of a bitter women. Naomi hatched a successful plan to bring her kinsman, Boaz, and Ruth together. The couple later had a son, Obed, the grandfather of David. Ruth disappeared from the story, only to be remembered later as one of four women named in Matthew’s lineage of Jesus.


Ruth’s lesson to us? Steadfast love and loyalty may just lead you into a glorious destiny.


Esther - The Book of Esther


Esther was a simple orphan, raised by her cousin Mordecai, until she decided she was destined to be royalty. Hiding her Jewish identity, she became a harem contestant, and after a year of spa treatments, emerged a stunner. The king may not have been bright, but he knew how to pick a beauty queen. Smitten, he rewarded Esther with a crown. It was good to be Esther until a tip from Mordecai forced her into action. The king, who led more by whim than wisdom, was convinced by his evil minister Haman to kill all Jews. Mordecai begged Esther to intervene, even though an unsummoned appearance before the king could be deadly, even for queens. But Esther knew she had to act on behalf of her people. “If I perish, I perish,” she said. In the end her wisdom prevailed, and her bravery saved her kinsmen.


Esther reminds us to be imaginative, as well as courageous. We don’t always have to fight to get what we want; sometimes we just have to outwit our adversary.


Mary, mother of Jesus - Luke 1:26-38, 1:39-56, 2:1-7, 2:21-38, 2:41-52, 4:16-30, 8:19-21


Much has been said about accepting Jesus as the personal savior, but no one accepted him in a more personal way than Mary, his mother. She literally “fleshed out” the unthinkable: Immanuel, God with us. The Scriptures tell us that the young virgin, betrothed to a carpenter, Joseph, was granted a very special favor. “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David… and of his kingdom there will be no end.” What is most notable is not the miraculous visitation, it’s that she said an unprecedented “Yes."


Mary was the first disciple of Christ. She had to believe in him before anyone else. Her faith in Jesus was not a product of her extraordinary actions. It was a gift. Her lesson to us is that we must let go of the notion that we create faith based on our works. God gifts us with faith, which makes our good works possible.

Woman at the Well - John 4: 1-30

Like Jesus, the Samaritan woman came to the well thirsty. Jesus wanted to quench his bodily thirst; so did the woman, but the story hints at deeper layers of meaning. Perhaps Jesus thirsted for souls, and the woman for at-long-last love. “Give me a drink,” Jesus said, a scandal; Jews were forbidden to share anything in common with unclean Samaritans. When she questioned him he replied, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”


Mary Magdala - Matt. 27:55-56, Mark 14:40-41, Matt. 28:1-9, John 20:18


Poor Mary Magdalene. St. Gregory the Great ruined her reputation suggesting she was a prostitute. Scholars have since rejected his thesis, and today Mary Magdalene is seen as one of Jesus’ most powerful allies. Sure, he may have had to cast seven demons out of her, or at least healed her of an undisclosed illness, but the grateful woman of means in turn led his female disciples and offered Jesus financial support. The four Gospels cite Mary as following Jesus to the end of his life, while his male disciples scattered. It was she who was brave enough to go to the guarded tomb of a convicted felon and chat with angels, and she who first encountered the risen Christ. She became the Apostle to the Apostles, when she ran, not walked, to the men by proclaiming the good news, “I have seen the Lord.”


With Mary as our example, we can follow our passions with everything within us, fearlessly, no matter what obstacles we encounter.


 Adapted from


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