This Gospel reads as the note of a traveler noting only essential words and people. Underneath this summary, moments of encounter unfold, but I feel I am left in the dark. The sparse report leaves me with an overwhelming sense of curiosity. Who are these women? What are their stories? How might I come to know them? The word “accompaniment” implies a relationship; how did they come to know Jesus, and Jesus them?

This Gospel invites me to turn inward and outward at once, to perceive my own curiosity and to look to others as a pathway to relationship with Jesus who is here now, with us in the friend, the stranger, the refugee, the child. Who are the people I journey with? Who is healing me? How can I keep them company on the road ahead?

—Claire Peterson works in the advancement and communications offices of the U.S. Central and Southern Province.