I was thrilled to read today that a Harvard professor had in her hands the very papyrus that had on it the Coptic words: "The Gospel of Jesus's wife" and "Jesus said to them, 'My wife she will be able to be my disciple.'"
How timely, that it coincides with an era in which women are being ordained right and left, despite what the Catholic Church says about not ordaining women. Their reason was always because Jesus had no female disciples -- but this blows that idea out of the water. It'll be interesting to see how the Vatican responds to this new piece of evidence. I can't say that I expect much from them. Nor has it mattered to hundreds of women in the Church who have not needed the blessing of Rome to become ordained priests. Thanks to a few renegade bishops, we have ordained women priests all over the world celebrating the sacraments, though not, of course, in any Catholic Churches.
I say, let us all be sacrament-makers. Let us stop the action at any heartening event and proclaim its holiness. Let us give names to the occasions, lay our hands on and heal the wounded, lift up the weary, sing our praises and thanks from the streets and subways. Let US be the newsmakers, the gift-givers, the blessing bestowers. "Anything I have done, you can do and even more," so said the man Jesus, with his wife and his side. And here's my version of what his wife had to say about the whole thing, which can be found in my book No Ordinary Time:
He is not so gentle as they say or think--
a thundercloud on some nights,
a hurricane of sorrow on others.
No one sees this private man as I see him
his hands big as the world
clenched in madness one moment,
folded in prayer the next.
At night it is I who must calm him down
remove his robe, kiss his face
wrap my arms round his burdened back,
rub his heavy laden shoulders with healing balm.
He needs me as the others need him
which causes fury in a few of them.
Peter's rage and jealousy has frightened me
more than once
though I don't share that with Yeshua--
he has enough problems with them
without adding that to his list.
They call him Master,
though he asks them only to master themselves,
to make of their lives what he is making of his.
What anger he feels
when they won't take their power
saying he is the Master, his gifts are unique
Over and over he repeats the same thing:
Anything I have done, you can do, and more.
He calls them to manhood
yet they refuse to grow up
and though I know his thoughts as I know my own
they will not listen when I speak his truth.
I bear the sorrows of my beloved each night,
as I offer him bread and a cup of wine.
Into my lungs I breathe his pain,
out of my mouth, I send forth my love.
His tears fall like blood
from a heart broken open
He thrashes in his sleep
like a boat in a storm.
Though separate we are one,
our spirits undivided,
he is the dawn of my every day
and I am his northern star.