Saturday, May 11, 2013

Remembering Our Mothers

"We believe that the Holy Mother of God,
the new Eve, Mother of the Church,
continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role
on behalf of the members of Christ."
(Pope Paul VI, Credo of the People of God § 15)

As we celebrate Mother's Day tomorrow (Sunday, May 12), we reflect on the great and special love a mother has for her children. In light of our faith---at least for me---I am left to consider not only the love of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Christ, but also the love of God our Father. When we truly think about the authentic love of a mother for her children, without difficulty we see a reflection of the love God has for his people.
Raising children involves obedience and patience from both parents and children. No doubt, at times a child has a special way of getting on that "last nerve" (and I know because I am that child)!This morning (Saturday, May 11) I spent some time in prayer at an abortion clinic with many joyful Christians, Protestant and Catholic, who support life. This opportunity stood as a visible sign not only of celebrating the glory and dignity of human life, but also praying for the mothers/families that choose life and praying for those who are unable to see hope in their circumstances.
A parent conveyed, "It is not easy being a mother sometimes" Commenting further, she said, "Then again, love means selflessness." Well, we will never be able to understand exactly what people are truly going through in their lives, but we have a obligation to encourage them. Following the example of Jesus, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles reminds us, "As Jesus was obedient to his Father's commands, we have to be obedient to Jesus' commands... [especially] when those teachings are hard or inconvenient." We must choose life. In choosing life, we are choosing to love. Jesus commands us to love.

We must always look to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who "advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with his sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth." (Lumen Gentium, 54). With all the joys and anguish that come over the years, the incredible sacrifice is a "labor of love" which knows no end. Many observe that the delight and agony a mother feels is just as poignant whether the child is an adult or an adolescent.
In addition to feeding, clothing, loving and providing shelter for her children, a mother possesses the tremendously awesome responsibility to raise her children in the faith. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches all forms of catechesis; and as such, the first church is in the home. God bless our mothers for teaching us, leading us, and not only giving us life, but also showing us the path to life.

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