Mother’s Day weekend and our celebration of the Ascension have something in common—they are both about remembering. For many of us we remember a love that never dies-a loving mother, many of whom at times struggle, sacrifice and from a depth of love that reflects God’s love in our world. Such love teaches us endurance and perseverance=those qualities we need to draw on from time/time in life, and some of us remember those lessons from mom. The miraculous gift of God’s eternal love for us expressed in sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Who teaches us that the love we receive is the love we are to share reminding us of his sacrificial love will always be with us. In the miracle of the Ascension Jesus shows us his legacy is ours as he ascends to the Father. He tells us in the gospel: “I am going to prepare a place for you and when I come back I will take you to myself; so that where I am you may always be!” Powerful hope, lasting love.
By such love, the Lord also commissions us to be his messengers of hope in the world, many Catholics are hesitant to talk about faith in Jesus. It can be a fear of having other people think we’re weird—bible beaters! Yet, once we finish offering our views on politics, the economy, and our favorite politician; people already know we’re weird. Nothing you say about faith is going to hurt you! The freedom to share our faith is just one of the many sacrifices others made to assert our right to speak openly about our faith as a part of this great country!
Faith in Jesus Christ is most often made real, by word-of-mouth and witness down through countless generations. Just think of the more than 55 children who will make their First Communion with us next weekend. Who would Jesus be to them? The basic Gospel message—God is real, God loves us, which is best demonstrated in families What kind of life would children have—without the word of life and faith witness in families, religious education classes, and seeing a faith community show love in the Lord!
Jesus is the face of God. Jesus is best shared personally and intimately—one on one. The First Communion seeds planted- parent chatting with a child; 2 co-workers on a break or friends having a discussion over lunch. I’ve even shared while sweating on a tread mill and elliptical rider-I’m overdue to spread the Word that way! And you know many people that are hungry to hear about God! Personal sharing is the most effective way of proclaiming Jesus—telling others who he is to us and why we believe.
Do you share your faith with your spouse—children—family members? Sharing goes beyond teaching others our wonderful prayers, it includes what is behind the prayers we offer, what we feel and live because of our prayers to the lord.
Ask yourself: what would’ve happened to you –if everyone in your life kept silent about Jesus or allowed him to slip into some forgotten memory? What would happen if we just left the good news to preachers in a pulpit? Well knowing my mom and dad that would never happen. After retirement they attended daily Mass and taught us by their care to help those less fortunate.
Perhaps your parents did the same. It was my mom who also taught us how loved we are by God with her generous selfless love for us. As mothers know, there is no job or life more important than being entrusted with the gift of life in children. We celebrate such dedication and love this weekend as we celebrate, Mother’s Day.
In 1872, Julia Ward Howe, the author of the lyrics to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” made an eloquent appeal for an annual Mother’s Day for Peace when she wrote, ‘Arise, all women who have hearts, and say firmly; our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.’
35 years later Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia asked her church to hold a service in memory of all mothers on the anniversary of her own mother’s death. Faced with the power of the Women’s Suffrage movement, male politicians espoused this version of the day as a way of enshrining a more traditional view of motherhood. In 1914 President Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday of May as Mother’s Day”
This holiday can be painful for some women who have wanted to be mothers, but are unable to be, or those who have painful memories of their mothers, or mothers whose children have died, or persons separated from mothers due to family strife and broken relationships. We also honor working mothers, both single and married surrogate mothers, such as grandmothers or aunts who are filling the role of parenting due to cultural-sociological stressors in family structure in America. This weekend we celebrate and acknowledge the dignity and power and ability of women who have influenced us all, including the continued formation of national policies seeking peace.
For in God’s wisdom and love, God created women as the font of all life, the source nurturer, the womb-connection that continues into eternity as we look upon the Blessed Mother and her gift of Jesus to us all. With all the mixed definitions, cultural and historical changes; the blessing of good mothers, blood or otherwise, is still the source of understanding God’s nurturing love. Yes, we celebrate and rejoice with the gift from God of good mothers. We join in prayer with all the Catholic Churches for the end of abortions, the sanctity of all life through motherhood-God’s miracle come to earth.