Easter 7—Women as Afterthought

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

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