Happy Easter 2023! Today is the day when we celebrate the most wonderful event in the history of humanity: Jesus, the Crucified One, has come back to life.
In each of the houses where we Sisters Adorers accompany the women, we discover how the Lord’s Resurrection becomes a reality in everyday life. Each woman with whom we share our lives shows us this process of passing from death to life after going through her own process of liberation. We are witnesses that; indeed, death does not have the last word. Hope always surprises us and comes to meet us.
On this solemnity of Easter, Sisters Adorers, Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity, want to reflect on the role of women in this event.
“They act independently of men, they obey the voice from heaven that commands them to go and announce the message of the Resurrection to the disciples; finally, they are the recipients of the first appearance of the Risen One” (Women of the Dawn: Daring hope at break of dawn, p.14).
As the Gospel of the Easter Vigil points out (Matthew 28:1-10), Mary Magdalene and Mary went to see the tomb of Jesus, “after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning”. Although they were afraid and knew that the tomb was guarded, they wanted to go because they remembered that the Lord said that he would rise again on the third day: “As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day” (Mt 17:22-23).
There, continues the Gospel of the Easter Vigil, and angel of the Lord “descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it”. The guards “shook and became like dead men” and the angel addressed the women:
“Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come; see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him’. This is my message for you”.
The women “left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples”.
Then Jesus himself met them and said to them: “Greetings!” (…) “. “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me”.
It is certain that Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus at the head, were the ones who remained at the foot of the Cross, they saw Jesus die: “There were many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 27:55-56). Moreover, they knew where he was buried: “But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb” (Matthew 27:61).
Nevertheless, it is surprising that Jesus reveals himself to them first, since in the Jewish society of that time the testimony of a woman had no legal value. In fact, the apostles themselves did not believe them and went to see for themselves that the tomb was empty.
“In fact, they were to be the carriers of the proclamation of the resurrection to the disciples. Once again, the transforming power of the resurrection is clear: those who were destined to play secondary roles in their society, culture and religion, are now the protagonists of the new history, ‘women apostles of the male apostles’, as they were justly called in ancient times.” (Women of the Dawn: Daring hope at break of dawn, p.17).
Now we also share this anthem created by the Latin American Confederation of Religious, CLAR, on its inspiring horizon for the triennium 2022-2025: “Women of the dawn. Hope begins to dawn”.