The altars are stripped, the tabernacles emptied, the candles removed, the people leave, and the church reverts to silent darkness. The Son of Man is left hanging on a cross between two criminals, abandoned by all but his mother and a few women. Usually we keep the Sacred Eucharist in Holy Thursday’s Altar of Repose only until midnight, but this year some women asked that we leave Christ in the tabernacle all night. At 4:30am I went down to pray. I found five people in the chapel who had apparently kept watch all night. All of them were women.
The three or four women who kept watch at Calvary 2000 years ago have been keeping watch until our own time. They are poor women, abused women, marginalized women. It is rare for a powerful and wealthy woman to spend much time in church, but someday I hope every woman, even the most powerful in America, will bend the knee before the crucified God. It is the Christian hope that every living being will one day grow silent before the mystery of Love Crucified. Ave Crux, spes unica!