More than any other part of the gospel the passage that describes some of the disciples in the community that Jesus formed visiting his tomb, highlights the role and authority of women.
They had watched Jesus on the cross, seen the burial, prepared the spices for his anointing and they are the first eyewitnesses to the empty tomb. They hear the amazing news from the two men in dazzling clothes they see in the tomb. (Except they were neither men nor women but angels).
Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was in Galilee…
They remembered and went straight to the remaining eleven disciples. Who dismissed what they said as nonsense. Except Peter. He ran to the tomb, found it empty and returned home amazed. The women were the first witnesses and communicators of the Resurrection. Christianity begins with them.
This is a surprising aspect of the Resurrection story. It indicates that what happens through it will not be confined to Jesus and his little dysfunctional community. It will spread everywhere like a forest fire starting with a match or a global virus with a single microbe. Wherever it goes it will shake the foundations of power and pride. It will bring the teaching and living spirit of Jesus to challenge and change our view of reality and our way of living.
In our divided and violent world, in Jerusalem, Kyev and Moscow, it is our unfailing hope and our true peace.
Let our first words to everyone today be :
“Christos Anesti!‘ (Christ is Risen!)
And may they dare to respond :
“Althos Anesti!” (He is Risen indeed!)
Here endeth the Lenten Reflections for this year. My warmest thanks to the faithful teams of translators around the time zones who did their work uncomplainingly even when they should have complained at my late delivery of the next day’s. And thank you gentle readers who have been part of this pilgrimage and for your comments and messages which have enriched and encouraged me. Enjoy the silence. Happy Easter!
Lenten Reflections 2022