May 8th – IV Sunday of Easter

My Dear Friends:

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers!

It is only right that we celebrate this day during the Month of Mary. We turn to her maternal protection during these trying times when we all need the maternal embrace of our Blessed Mother as we wander through this vale of tears. The reason the image of tears comes to mind is because I think of all the mothers who weep for their children because they have wandered far from their faith or mothers who weep because they lost a child who they pray is being held tightly by our Mother Mary in Heaven. The gift of motherhood is sacred, and this day we recall all the selfless acts that our mothers do for us, we thank them for giving us the precious gift of life, and for instilling in us our beautiful Catholic faith.

Yet a mother still longs for the children who have gone astray. Pope Francis gave a beautiful homily on the motherhood of Mary and motherhood in general on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God in 2019:

In the journey of life, let us allow ourselves to be taken by the hand. Mothers take their children by the hand and lovingly introduce them to life. But how many children today wander off on their own and lose their way. Thinking they are strong, they get lost; thinking they are free, they become slaves. How many, forgetting a mother’s affection, live in anger with themselves and indifference to everything! How many, sad to say, react to everything and everyone with bitterness and malice! Life is such. Showing oneself “malicious” even seems at times to be a sign of strength. Yet it is nothing more than weakness. We need to learn from mothers that heroism is shown in self-giving, strength in compassion, wisdom in meekness. God himself needed a Mother: how much more so do we!… Our Lady is not an optional accessory: she has to be welcomed into our life. She is the Queen of peace, who triumphs over evil and leads us along paths of goodness, who restores unity to her children, who teaches us compassion.

Pope Francis, Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, January 1, 2019

Our mothers do indeed take us by the hand and lead us to Christ. For this we honor them not only today but every single day. We pray for our mothers in heaven who so many of us miss on this Sunday that can be bittersweet for some. We commend all our mothers to the Virgin Mary that she may always protect them and be a model of motherhood that leads all children to Jesus.

Today the Church also celebrates Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Vocations. I think of all the mothers who have supported and prayed for their sons as they embrace the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Mothers of priests adopt the spiritual children of their sons as their own spiritual grandchildren. Their prayers are powerful for like Mary, they see their sons lay down their lives for others and take on the role of intercessors. Let us never cease to pray for vocations. Let us never cease to pray for our mothers who through their tireless devotion to their children give us a glimpse of the love our God has for each and every one of us.

God bless you all,

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