We women were with Jesus when he died. The men had run away – except
John, who was with Jesus’ mother. We women served him for three years
while he went around teaching and preaching to anyone who wanted to
listen. And to some who didn’t like what they heard. We served him and
helped him with our money.
The end was terrible. I hated the dirt. His pain. The noise of that
screaming mob. We women saw it. His mother Mary, Mary Magdalene,
Salome, and other women. We stayed with him till it was over, and we
prepared his body for the tomb.
I said I followed him, but it was my sons I followed – James and
Joses. They left good jobs – put their tools on the ground when he
called them. They said there was nothing else to do. I was angry. They
could have married, raised families. Children. My grandchildren.
When they began to travel with their teacher, I went along too. Can
you blame me? I’m a widow. A woman with no family can’t survive. My
sons were supposed to take care of me, and now I was taking care of
He called himself the light of the world. He was always talking about
love. Love your neighbor as you do yourselves. Love God with your
whole heart and your whole soul and your whole mind and your whole
strength. Love your enemy. Do good to those who hate you. Love
yourself because God loves you. Always love. I began to like being
It was almost Passover. We were in Bethany one evening at Simon’s
house – he had been a leper but Jesus had cured him, made him whole
again. A woman I’d never seen before entered carrying an alabaster
jar. In the jar was expensive perfume. The woman poured the perfume on
Jesus’ head. The smell was intoxicating. I thought I could live the
rest of my life in that wonderful smell. Some of the men were furious:
“Why are you wasting this perfume?” they said. “We could have sold it
for over three hundred silver pieces and given the money to the poor.”
But Jesus scolded them: “Let her alone,” he said. “Why judge her? The
poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
She is preparing me for my burial. Wherever the good news is
proclaimed throughout the world, what she has done will be told to
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, stood up quickly. He seemed
angry. My son James asked what was the matter. But Judas didn’t
answer. He just left Simon’s house without looking back.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, we celebrated the Passover
supper in a large upstairs room in Jerusalem. At the table, Jesus
talked about dying. He said that he was going home to his Father. He
said, “I give you my word, one of you is about to betray me, yes, one
who is eating with me.”
The men all said to him, “Surely not I!” We women – what could we say?
– we had served him and learned to love him and didn’t care about
power and being on his right hand and being the greatest and judging
the tribes of Israel, we women didn’t say anything.
Then he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to all of us.
“Take this,” he said, “this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks to
his Father, and gave it to us, and we all drank from it. He said to
us: “This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out on
behalf of many. I solemnly assure you, I will not again drink of the
fruit of the vine until the day I drink it in the reign of God.” Then
he said, “Do this to remember me.”
We didn’t understand what he was saying, but we ALL– the women and
the men – we all ate and drank.