"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb."
- John 20:1
The crisis unfolding on the US-Mexico border is not new. It is the result of a decades-long neglect of an oppressed and impoverished community, the community of migrants and deportees. This community is bound together by common experience (forced migration), by the interlocking relationships of millions of extended family trees, and by modern communications technologies like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
Like in any other community, natural leaders can be found in the community of migrants and deportees. Spontaneously, these leaders take initiative and responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable members of their own communities are fed. These leaders serve as catalysts, mobilizing the leadership of others. With access to even very modest resources,*** these leaders become their community's own best resources, self-organizing to provide meal services to their fellow migrants and deportees.
In cities like Tijuana, all along the border, women from within the community of migrants will get up early this Easter morning, and they will set themselves to work staffing "cocinas populares," the "popular kitchens" that feed the thousands of people that those of us who live in the United States are reading about in the news.
Women leaders working a "cocina popular" in Tijuana.
Seen from one perspective, all this indeed constitutes a "crisis."
But these women will respond to it all as a simple matter of fact. People are hungry. Someone must feed them.
I can't help but think that these women know more about Jesus than we do, that they share more in common than we do with the women who the gospels report consistently were the first to experience the resurrection on the first Easter morning some two thousand years ago.
Their leader and teacher had been brutally murdered, their hopes and aspirations apparently dashed, and the fickle throngs that once followed him had largely dispersed. But his body had not yet been properly buried. Someone had to tend to it.
And so, on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women got up and they went to the tomb.
*** Last year Via International launched Via Migrante, an initiative to serve the burgeoning community of migrants and deportees in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. You can learn more about the "migrant kitchens of Tijuana" here: www.kitchenstj.com.