April 13

Reflection

The women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy,
and ran to tell his disciples.
Matthew 25
:8

In the passion narratives, the apostles deserted Jesus, but the women remained faithful. Mary Magdalen is mentioned by name as standing at the foot of the cross. It is the women who went back to the tomb “early in the morning” to anoint his body, and to the  women that he first appeared after the resurrection. From him they received the commission to go and tell the others. Jesus sent them, but the apostles didn’t believe them.  They were considered distraught and unreal.  Throughout his ministry, Jesus had shown a unusual relationship with women, yet, even among his followers, the culture of the time caused them to be  disregarded. It has persisted through the centuries even though there is evidence that as the community of the early church evolved, women gained a significant place as leaders and ministers.

Prayer

That all may be one.

Action

Contrast the behavior of the women with that of the apostles. Read about women’s roles in the early Christian communities. (Women in Ancient Christianity ,The Neglected History of Women in the Early Church , Ten Should-Be Famous W omen of  Early Christianity )  Consider women’s roles in the church today. What are your attitudes?

Suggested Reading

The women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Matthew 25:8

When [the women] came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven … But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
Luke 24:9-11

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, we know from biblical evidence as well as archaeological inscriptions, women functioned in the early Church as apostles, prophets, teachers, healers, preachers, missionaries, deacons, and leaders of house churches.
Elizabeth Johnson

Without the generous contribution of many women, the history of Christianity would have developed very differently.
Pope Benedict XVI

Many women have received power through the grace of God and have performed many deeds of manly valor.
Clement of Alexandria

What women these Christians have!
Libanius

These people do not know that while Barak trembled, Deborah saved Israel, that Esther delivered from supreme peril the children of God … Is it not to women that our Lord appeared after His Resurrection?.
Jerome

Clearly in Bible times, women were used in ministry leadership roles, and still are today.
Debora Hooper

One of the best-kept secrets in Christianity is the enormous role that women played in the early church. Though they leave much unsaid, still, both Christian and secular writers of the time attest many times to the significant involvement of women in the early growth of Christianity.
Catherine Kroeger

The integral inclusion of women in the life of the church continued after the death of the apostles. Preferring rejection, torture, and even death to renouncing their faith, women served Christ as missionaries, scholars, and pilgrims. Women were also noted among the martyrs of the early church, and their astounding courage and faith changed the world.
Mimi Haddad

 

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