Some people like to caricature the Bible, and particularly the Old Testament as some kind anti-women document. An actually reading of the scriptures reveals the truth, and our Catholic Church's lectionary cycle attempts to underscore the same.
Yesterday we heard the story of the old man refused to even pretend to eat meat that was not kosher. Today we read the story of a woman who watched all of her sons murdered one by one, and what were her words to the youngest.
Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months, nursed you for three years, brought you up, educated and supported you to your present age. I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth and see all that is in them; then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things; and in the same way the human race came into existence. Do not be afraid of this executioner, but be worthy of your brothers and accept death, so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them.
She knew that if he held out, if he held on to his faith, he may appear to lose his life but in fact it would be the only way they could be together as a family forever.
A woman giving courage to a young man who was being promised the world by the king and who was wavering. Both an example of faith and courage.
The Bible is filled with such women.