When There Was No Room At The Church Inn And A Wise Woman Came With A Gift
Twenty five years ago today a friend of mine, a missionary sister returning from Africa, gave me a very special present with these words: ”It has long been gestating in you, but now the time has come for the birth. Rome is not ready, but you are.” As I opened the gift, I discovered a chalice and a paten. I was filled with awe and gratitude as my own discernment had led me to this realisation and I had prayed for a sign. This was the sign: A door had opened and the Holy Spirit was beckoning me forward. I used this chalice and paten to first preside at Eucharist on the Feast of the Epiphany. And since then, I have done so countless times and so have many other women in Ireland and around the world.
A new church is being born out of a dying one. The Spirit is calling us to be mothers and midwives. NOW.
Did the woman say, when she held him for the first time in the dark of a stable,
After the pain and the bleeding and the crying,
“This is my body, this is my blood”? … (Frances Croake Frank)
Yes, Mary did, and yes, we do.
[This reflection was first shared on 27 December 2020 at the Catholic Women’s Council Liturgy, organised by the Indian Women Theologians Forum]