Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is truly Risen, Alleluia!
If you are a mother or father, can you go back to the moment that you first saw and touched one of your newborn children? Most mothers and fathers report that, in gazing at their baby, they felt the deepest love they had ever felt in their lives. Along with this was a fierce, all-consuming desire to care for and protect this small life that they never knew until that moment.
Hopefully, all of us, whether single or married, have at some time felt this deep, powerful desire to care for a tiny, defenseless creature that has been given to us to protect. Today’s readings proclaim that THIS is the passion and intensity of the love God has for us.
The entire life of the church community should radiate out from, and continually proclaim this passionate love. Instead, many of the very people Jesus came for unfortunately see the church as cold and controlled, pushing some kind of detached, intellectual “virtue of love.” If we as church loved as Jesus is begging and praying for in today’s Gospel—I don’t think we’d ever have to worry about poor attendance in Catholic churches again!
How can we reach out to those who feel shut out by the church: seekers, agnostics, even atheists? Offer the compassion of Jesus, in the form of respect, friendship, patient listening Intellectual arguments are not the best at showing the tender love of a mother or father to those who seek Jesus.
Jesus’ prayer for oneness especially includes all those who will one day believe in him. I believe we Christians could take our mission statement from that prayer. That is, if we are privileged to be Jesus’ disciples, then we are equally privileged to bring not just arguments, but the compassion of true love to everyone who needs it.
A PRAYER FOR MOTHERS
All loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers young and old.
We pray for young mothers who give life and count toes and tend to our every need; May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.
We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; May they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways. We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.
We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion. We remember mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.
“It occurs to me: why is it mainly women, who pass on the faith? Simply because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman. It is the path chosen by Jesus. He wanted to have a mother; the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary” (Pope Francis). Enjoy this Mother’s Day and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to my homily today:
Listen to my blessing and song for “M-O-T-H-E-R”s:
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish