Mary . . . sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he said.
— Luke 10:39
The culture that Mary and Martha lived in did not affirm a woman’s right to learn—especially not from a rabbi and especially not when food had to be prepared!
But that not did not resonate with Jesus. He chided Martha and said that Mary had made the better choice. With these words and by welcoming Mary into the learning circle, Jesus broke a cultural norm, affirming the right of a woman to learn and thereby opening doors socially and economically for them as well.
There is much evidence that education is the most important thing that can help lift people out of poverty. Learning to read and write, to count, to think critically, and to acquire skills that advance employment—all of these are empowering keys that open doors to a better future.
In many communities around the world, the ones least likely to receive a life-building education are girls. More than 130 million school-age girls are not in school. That makes them more vulnerable to exploitation, limits their economic advancement, and violates their rights. That is to everyone’s loss.
But thanks to a massive global effort, change is happening. Thank God that we can support organizations committed to removing barriers and creating safe spaces for girls to learn and grow in.
Jesus, your inclusion and empowering of people is inspiring. May women and girls everywhere receive education toward a better future, and may they learn about you, the greatest teacher. Amen.