Today’s my name day, the day we remember Joanna, one of the women who followed our Lord Jesus around during His earthly ministry and helped take care of everyday needs. I don’t know what kinds of work those women did on His behalf, but perhaps it might all come under the broad category of hospitality?
In the two week period of which we are approximately in the middle, I have eleven different house guests coming and going. There isn’t much that makes me happier than creating a comfy and welcoming space for people who are away from their usual routine.
I like to put fresh flowers in the bathroom, and give the lodgers space for their suitcases and stuff. In weather like this I open the windows wide so that fresh air will greet them, and I give them choices of fat or thin pillows for their beds.
Jesus said that the Son of Man had no place even to lay His head; that was a particularly difficult hospitality challenge. It’s a joy to remember St. Joanna as I prepare one more room this afternoon for people I love.
Here is what is on the Orthodox Church in America website for this woman whom we remember today:
Saint Joanna the Myrrh-bearer, wife of Chusa, the household steward of King Herod, was one of the women following and attending the Lord Jesus Christ during the time of His preaching and public ministry. She is mentioned in Luke 8:3 and 24:10.
Together with the other Myrrh-bearing Women, St. Joanna went to the Sepulcher to anoint the Holy Body of the Lord with myrrh after His death on the Cross, and she heard from the angels the joyful proclamation of His All-Glorious Resurrection. According to Tradition, she recovered the head of St. John the Baptist after Herodias had disposed of it.
Saint Joanna, pray to God for us!