There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid. Mark 15:40-47.
Yesterday I had the joy of preaching and celebrating at St. James in Groveland, MA. For the Sunday in Labor Day weekend, it was a well attended service. We talked with folks afterwards about the change in seasons, beginning school days for the kids, and how we never loose that sense of anxiety as a new school year begins, Even if we are looking on from a distance of years, we can remember the drama (and sometimes even the trauma) of the first days of school each year. The years may have softened the anxiety, but we can remember. And looking back to those who fought for what all workers take for granted, we can remember those laid their lives on the line to better things for everyone.
The women disciples were principal actors in the life and death of Jesus. Mark's Gospel often reminds us of them and their sacrifices for the whole community. In his last hours, Jesus was surrounded by faithful women watching in horror as he died. They took care to see where he was buried, Despite the trauma and ugliness of all that was going on, they put their lives on the line to be present, to be witnesses and activists for the faithful community. God invites us to be like those women who took care of so much, those who put their lives on the line for the whole comuunity.
Today I ask God to help me be ready to put my life on the line for the whole faithful community. May we remember those who have risked their lives so that others may thrive today. And may we be active participants in the service of those who need our help and support around the world.