My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you!
Where would we be without our mothers? Without my mother I would not be here today writing this letter! I wouldn’t even be celebrating this Mass with you today! I thank God that she and my farther were open to life! She was the one who not only changed my diapers, but she had to wash them as well (There were no disposable diapers in those days!). She would have to soak them in the toilet and then wash them in the “ringer” washer. There was no automatic washing machine either. The diapers, along with all the other clothes, were hung on the clothes lines for the sun to dry. Then, there were those rather large safety pins used to keep the diapers on. Diapers were a lot of work!
She was the one who nourished me at her breasts and later made sure that I ate the right food, including all my vegetables! She had to cook and make her on baby food. Those little jars of prepared baby food weren’t even on the shelves in the local grocery store. My mother also was the one who sewed most of my shirts (I remembers her making shirts from cloth flour sacks that my grandmother would give to her.). When I got sick, she was the one who took me to the doctor and made sure that I had the care that I needed. Not only did she do these things for me, but she did that for my sister and brother as well.
Besides taking care of us children, she also made sure that we had a comfortable home and a safe environment in which we could grow up. She was also the peace keeper when we fought over the one bathroom for five people. As we got older, my sister would “take over” the bathroom. We laugh now about it all. I can say without a doubt that my mother was the heart of our family. But the most important thing that she did for us children was to love and care for my father. It was their love for each other that brought us into the world, and it was their love for each other that over flowed into our lives. They were never afraid to let us see how much they loved and cared for each other. Parents in love with each other is key to a happy family. I tell couples getting married that they must love each other more today than yesterday, and that it is their love for each other than spills over on to their children.
The bond between a mother and her child begins at the moment of conception. As the baby grows in her womb so does that unique mother-child relationship. The love that binds a child to his/her mother grows with each passing day; and in fact, as I have learned, continues to grow even after death. I do not think that there is anything a son or daughter can do that a mother cannot and does not forgive. My mother has been dead for 29 years, and a day does not go by without me thinking of her. Yes, I still ask her to help me, especially when I have a problem or am having a difficult time.
Today we take time to pay special tribute to our mothers. There is nothing we can do that will adequately express our love and gratitude for our mothers living or dead. She is to this day ever present to me in my mind, and her spirit lives in me. A mother’s love is ever so powerful.
Today as we honor our own mothers, we also reflect on the model that God has given all mothers in person of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Through our baptism, when we became a brother or sister of the Lord himself, we became children of Mary. On this mother’s day, let us ask Mary to always look after our own mothers and intercede for them with Her Son so that He will continue to bless them in everything that they do in this life and keep them close to Him in eternal life. Let us also remember that Mary is indeed our mother too. We need to keep her ever at our side and let her be the mother that she is.
Yes, indeed, what would we do without our mothers? The best tribute that we can pay to our mothers is to put them in the hands of God Himself. Remember them in the Novena of Masses that will be offered for them over the next nine days. Daily pray that the Lord Jesus will look after them just as He looked after and cared for His own mother, Mary.
To all the mothers of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish family, I say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.
Let us ask the Lord Jesus, and His Mother, to guide our young people on the road that He has already chosen for them, and to give them the courage to follow that path that He has laid out for them. Let us pray in particular for those young people that He is calling to serve Him as ordained priests and religious sisters. Each day ask God to guide our children as they discover what it is that He wants them to do with their lives. His will be done, not ours!
Today the first group of children in our Religious Education Program and those children in the second grade of our parish school are making their First Holy Communion. Let us all pray that their love and understanding of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist will grow each day. Let us also pray for their parents that they will be the best examples to their children as people of faith. Let us never forget that though Baptism we become part of the Body of Christ, the Church, and begin to live in Jesus and He in us!
Please pray for me! I love you.