By Ellie Roscher
This week’s gospel is about invitation. Giving an invitation can be a powerful act of inclusion. It is asking someone on the outside to enter into the center of things. We see Jesus do this all the time in the gospel. He invites people on the margins to join in, and that is, in part, the work of the gospel.
High school is full of in and out groups. And when we are inside, it is powerful to have peripheral vision and see who is on the margins. It is powerful to invite people in. When do you feel on the outside of things? Who do you see getting excluded? When could you do better at inviting others in?
Invitations are about letting people know that they matter, that they count. Being granted political representation is one very important invitation. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah recently announced that women in the country will have the right to vote and run in local elections in the year 2015. In this country of conservative values where women are not allowed to drive, this declaration is a gigantic leap forward for women being recognized and invited into society. But why wait four years? Why not today?
The king said he is implementing this right to women slowly because he wants to keep the conservative sector of society engaged. He uses the words “balanced modernization” to acknowledge the accomplishments of Saudi women without dismissing conservative tradition.
Women in the United States were granted the right to vote in 1920 with the passing of the 19th Amendment. Now, almost one hundred years later, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to stand up and be counted.
On the global scale, who do you see as marginalized?
Do you agree with the king of Saudi Arabia that waiting until 2015 is strategic?