It’s such a toss-away line, it deserves response. This weekend’s reading from Acts names each male disciple individually and precisely, then clumps “together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus…” the anonymous female crowd. Hmmmm…let’s hear their side of the story.
“Christ risen from his sepulcher at last,
Appeared to women first
So that the news would travel very fast. “ (Filippo Pananti, “Epigram VII”)
Or as Pope Francis said, “the Apostles and disciples find it harder to believe in the Risen Christ… Not the women, however!” One of them, Salome (they did have the dignity of names), remembers finding the sweet spices, unused:
I found the jar in the
shadows of a shelf, years later. Inching
open the dusty lid, fragrance brought it all back:
the fear-filled morning, milky before
dawn, exhausted friends’
faces, red-eyed with
crying and no sleep.
“Let’s do what we can”
our inglorious resolve.
I’m still embarrassed
that we ran terrified from
one who told us not to fear.
Were we fleeing something
in ourselves, that I know now
resurrects? Was the news
too good to believe?
I swirl these tiny spice grains
like puzzle pieces, wondering:
the fact we never used them,
their scent now slightly stale,
does it prove something stupendous?
Excerpt from More Hidden Women of the Gospels by Kathy Coffey, Orbis Press, Orbis Books, orbisbooks.com, 800-258-5838