What would you look like if you could see yourself as Jesus sees you? Who would you be if Jesus healed all your wounds, both physical and emotional? For most of us, the answers to those questions are a far cry from who we are today. We have been beaten down by the weight of life, the pain of untold sorrows, and the lies that Satan is all too eager to tell us.
In 2009, Colleen C. Mitchell lost an infant son who stopped breathing. She then lost another to miscarriage. In the midst of her pain, she and her family moved to Costa Rica to be missionaries, an experience that served as “rehab for [her]soul.” Colleen shares that she found God “in his Word, in his Eucharistic presence, in the quiet stillness of my new life . . . In the stories of the women of the Gospels, he showed me myself and he reminded me of who he was. And then he said, ‘And this is who I say that you are’.”
Mitchell hopes that those women who read Who Does He Say You Are? (Servant Books, 2016) will find “a mirror that reflects back to you the image of God in which you were created . . . [and that]you will be reminded of the woman you are meant to be.”
Several noteworthy women of the Gospels are profiled, including Mary, the mother of Jesus; Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist; Anna the prophetess; the Samarian woman at the well; the hemorrhaging woman; the woman caught in adultery; Martha and Mary of Bethany; the sinful woman who anoints Jesus; the woman crippled by a demon; the Syrophoenician woman; Mary, the wife of Clopas; and Mary Magdalene.
Each chapter begins with the scripture passage featuring the chosen woman. Mitchell then offers a reflection, shedding new light on the story while incorporating her own life experience, focusing on Jesus’ relationship with the woman. She then examines what we can learn from these sisters in Christ and what Jesus wants to say to each one of us.
Questions for reflection are also included. While this book would be ideal for a Catholic book club or Bible Study, some of the questions are very intimate in nature and would perhaps be better suited for personal reflection or journaling rather than sharing in a group.
Who Does He Say You Are is an honest portrayal of the wounds that women carry and the ways that Jesus wants to heal us and use us to further his kingdom. Mitchell invites us to imagine who we could be; who God made us to be before sin and pain in suffering got in the way. These biblical women serve as examples and friends. Their stories are worth meditating on and learning from. We can listen to Jesus speak to us words of comfort and healing by listening to them.
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Copyright 2016 Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur