Mary, Our Mother
This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. After Jesus completed His mission, He ascended into heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Before He said good-bye to His disciples, Jesus assured them: “I will not leave you orphans.” He gave them the gift of His presence in the Holy Eucharist so that they would not feel alone. He promised to send them the Consoler, the Holy Spirit, who would teach them everything. He gave them also another precious gift – His own mother.
As He was breathing His last, He entrusted His mother to the care of John, the beloved disciple. He also entrusted John, the disciple, to the care of His mother. With that gesture, the Master placed his disciples under the loving protection of Mary, His mother. Just as John took Mary into his own
home, each one of us is called upon to invite her into our lives. The month of May, dedicated to Mary, reminds us of this unspoken invitation of the Lord to each and every one of us. For a follower of Jesus, devotion to Mary is not an option. It should be a given. Just as she strengthened the faith of the Early Church while it awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit, Mary continues to strengthen our faith and deepen our love for her Son. As Bishop Fulton Sheen used to say, “Have Mary on your mind and Jesus will grow in your heart.”
We all know how vital our mothers are for our life and our happiness. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, let me share with you quotes from some famous individuals:
All that I am, my mother made me. (John Quincy Adams)
Mothers’ arms are made of tenderness, and sweet sleep blesses the child who lies therein. (Victor Hugo)
For the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. (William Ross Wallace)
Mother – she was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries. (De Witt Talmage)
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. (William Makepeace Thackeray)
All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. (Attributed to President Lincoln)
Give me good mothers and I will give you a great nation. (Napoleon Bonaparte)
In my homilies you have often heard me speak of my mother with great fondness. I doubt that there is any other person who has had a greater influence on me than my mom. On this day, let us remember our mothers with gratitude. If they are with the Lord, let us pray for them. Let us send them a sweet kiss of warm thankfulness. If they are with us, let us make every effort possible to make their hearts sing by our outpouring of love. Let us thank them not only for giving us the gift of life but also for being our source of strength, encouragement and hope.
Now I would like to address all moms in the parish. Please remember that by your very vocation to motherhood you rank very close to God. He has shared with you the powerful privilege of giving life to your children. All the sacrifices you make on behalf of your children will someday be amply rewarded. I wish our society and culture would recognize and acknowledge the contribution you make to the health and well-being of our society. I pray that young women and girls will aspire to motherhood because mothers can shape the future of their children and family, and determine the direction of our world. The Jewish people have a proverb which goes thus: “God could not be everywhere; that is why He created mothers.”
During the month of May, let us honor our Blessed Mother. Let us implore her intercession for the protection of our children and families. Let us grow in our love for her because by loving her we will learn to love her Son. Let us teach our children how they can grow close to her. Perhaps we can pray the Rosary as a family. Let us also honor our moms because without them we will not be what we are today. They are the best manifestation of God’s love for us.
Mary, mother of all Christ’s disciples, pray for us! Help us love your Son as you do!