A GOSPEL WOMAN
Think about the various women of the Gospels. One must begin with Mary, the mother of the Lord. She was always humble, faith-filled and faithful. She accepted the message of an angel and waited with expectation and hope. There were Martha and Mary who along with their brother Lazarus were special friends of Jesus. There was Mary Magdalene, risking everything to care for the Lord. Although not an exhaustive list these were among the named women. There are also others, perhaps the most famous being the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well whose names we shall never know. What did they all have in common? They almost from the beginning understood who Jesus was, they embraced his message, and they shared their faith in Him with others.
I am happy to announce today that a truly Gospel woman in our midst and in my life has been honored by Pope Benedict XVI with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award which is usually given to laity for their at times heroic sacrifices on behalf of their Church and faith. When I sent my original nominations in, I misplaced the file on a very special person, my radio side-kick for almost a decade, Mary Jo Murphy. Because she loves Church communications, she devoted many years to developing relationships with local media and helping spread the Good News. Now the paper has caught up with my hope and word has been received that she too will be honored on December 21, 2008.
All who know her will be happy with this news and I am proud of this moment. Mary Jo, it was great being “on the air with Mary Jo Murphy” and I congratulate you as I congratulated the others who were notified earlier. But then you know me well so I know you are not surprised by the time it took me to catch up.