Mother's Day on the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48, Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 1 John 4:7-10, & John 15:9-17
A cross-section of the 'Madonna and Child' by William Dyce, circa 1827
Mother's Day is one of the most beautiful days of the year. As I began to formulate today's reflection, I considered for a moment the thoughts of two great men and the role their mothers played in their lives.
George Washington once said, "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am, all I owe is to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her." Abraham Lincoln spoke similar words when he said, "All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
I suspect that each of us can articulate the deep emotional feelings we have for our moms. We are indeed indebted to mothers who not only gave us life but lead us by word and example. Aside from our relationship with God, the relationship we have with our mother is likely the most important we will ever have. Certainly, our fathers, wives or husbands, children, grandparents, teachers, and so forth are significant people in our lives. Then there is "mom."
Our mothers teach us about love and faith. They are beacons of hope and encouragement in our lives. They, along with our fathers, teach us about marital love and commitment. Despite the pain of childbirth, a mother forgets that pain as she looks upon the face and into the eyes of her newborn son or daughter. The pain she had gone through becomes quite meaningless in the presence of new life as she cradles her newborn. Childbirth is not the end but the beginning of new life. Then comes the responsibility of feeding and nursing and diaper changing, and sleepless nights. However, our mothers, along with the countless other responsibilities in their lives, endured and nurtured their children to keep them safe and secure.
Motherhood is a very high calling. What relationship can ever replace the love of a mother and a grandmother? It is essential for women to realize that the love, guidance, and influence they provide to their children is invaluable. They must look to heaven. They
must look to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the true model of motherhood.
Saint John Paul II explains, "It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find
in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: thus self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement." (Encyclical; Redemptoris Mater, March 25, 1897.)
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of the Church and the gift of mothers.
Question of the Day: Will you jot some notes on how your mother influenced your life?
Prayer: Holy Spirit of God, renew the hearts of mothers so they can live out their calling to motherhood with a deeper and more generous love within the daily circumstances of their lives. Amen.