In response to the Holy Father's recent call for more contemplation on the theology of woman in the Church, I submit the following:
Mary is the Church in person: Mother of God and Bride of the Holy Spirit.
Mary, at the wedding of Cana, makes known the needs of the bride and groom to Our Lord. He seems to suggest that Providence hadn't necessarily ordered a miracle at this point, but bows to her suggestion that it should (He demonstrates the correctness of the Scotian idea of 'befittingness' as opposed to 'necessity'). He works His first miracle in obedience to Her.
The Church, like Mary, is given the power to bind and to loosen. She makes known the needs of mankind to God. She asks Him to apply His justice mercifully. She does not, as proverbs says, spare the rod and spoil the child, but she applies the rod first to herself, her heart pierced seven times.
It has been wisely said, if with tongue in cheek, that the husband as head of the home makes all the decisions; the wife makes known her needs, and the needs of the children, and the husband decides to do it.
This is true, and I think what Our Lady does, and what the Church does with God.
A major problem in our generation has been, however, the notion that the Church must adopt a 'searching' attitude, a 'dialogical' attitude in speaking to her children. Many in the Church say that the Church as our Mother is merciful and gentle because she is alongside us in searching for the truth, for the answers of Our Lord.
This is nonsense, as we all know, because the mercy of the Church is that she binds and loosens according to God's mercy, not in ignorance. She binds as one does a wound, not as a jailer. She loosens like water breaking, like the overflow of baptism, like Peter and Paul escaping from prison. She frees men to make vows. She heals men so that they can work and undergo the passion.
Mary, the Queen of us all, our Mother at the hospital bedside of Fatima and Lourdes, like Moses through the Red Sea of Purgatory: this is the revelation of what the Church must be.
And what the "role" of women is, in the Church.
Queenship is not being a lector, nor an "EMHC", nor an altar server. Mary was not an Apostle. She is the Domina, and dominates the world as a Mother does her home. Not overbearingly, not stridently, not from the 'front', but from the heart. She embues her home. She animates it. She dominates you in the way your heart dominates you, not in the way your mind does.
Which is why women do not serve in the liturgy. Men serve women, men are at the service of women who are the heart of the home. The priest is at the service of the Church, The Woman at Mass. The Woman is to be assisted, not to assist, for She is about to give birth. The men hurry to build her a home, even if only a stable. Rush to her side to be of service as she labors to bear Her Son.
To "solve the "problem" of the "role" of women in the Church by making them altar servers, EMHCs, and lectors, is to trivialize their queenship. Mary is already Queen of the apostles. Altar serving would be a demotion.