Lesson Not Learned
At the heart of the Easter story is sunrise the first Easter morning.
Women who attended the death of Jesus at Golgotha, ritually prepared him for burial, then left his tomb closed behind a rock guarded by Roman soldiers, bravely return.
"Who will roll back the stone for us?" they ask undaunted by their act of defiance returning to the tomb of a buried, crucified Christ.
What they find is an abandoned tomb, guarded by an Angel, we are told, announcing to them the news of the risen Christ, sitting next to an empty shroud that once was wrapped around the lifeless body of Jesus.
The shroud becomes legend because of the imprint of Christ’s body, especially the marks of the wounds of crucifixion.
The women leave, except one, who is distraught and moves outside the tomb, to be met by a “stranger” who asks why she is distressed.
The conversation varies by biblical text but we know who it is between, Mary, known as the Magdelene and the risen Christ.
Mary is commanded to go and tell the others that ‘He is Risen.’
Mary is the first messenger of the good news of the risen Christ and women have been in the backseat as messengers in the Church ever since.
Whether women were present at the last supper, we can only surmise, with absolute certainty, when the twelve disciples were charged as priests, that now is the traditional day on Holy Thursday when men are ordained as priests in our modern day Church.
Whether those same women were also present on Pentecost, when the men who received the good news from Mary, and having received the Holy Spirit, then go out to publicly preach the ‘good news’ after weeks of being in hiding, is also left for us to ponder.
Women were not considered news worthy except that Mary at the tomb on Easter Sunday morning was and remains so to this present day.
What lesson should we take from this? Certainly one that the Church has not fully learned, or has yet accepted, about the role of women in the Church.
The day will come when the Church will “get it,” the message that is, and women will be ordained and take their rightful place as priests.
"Go and tell the others" Mary was commanded on the first Easter Sunday - entrusted as Christ’s first messenger.
Some day in the not so distant future, many other women will follow in her footsteps and take their rightful place preaching the good news as ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
For now, it is about the lesson of Easter Sunday Church leaders have failed to pass on for over two thousand years. For now, the stone has not been rolled back for eligible, wanting to be ordained women waiting to go out to tell the good news of Christ to our modern day believers.