Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The other day I was watching a group discussion online in which the members were talking about the lack of a role model in today’s society. Whether superheroes, actresses, singers, in the past they were more relevant in a person’s growth than they are today. But is it true that today we don’t have role models? In a culture where TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social networks give one second of fame, there are many people that rise and disappear from the media in no time. Again, is there someone today that remains as a star for longer periods of time?
There are many unsung heroes in our culture that do not receive the credit they deserve. I’m not talking about the people that work essential jobs that were finally recognized during Covid. I’m referring to the ones that are always next to us, but never in the spotlight. Surely it may vary from family to family. For certain families it is the mother that runs around making sure that everyone gets their lunch, all the clothes are fresh and clean ready to be used, dinner is taken care of, Jimmy gets picked up from soccer and Annie gets a ride to her rehearsals. For other families there might be grandma that comes to the rescue. She becomes the default safety blanket when all the plans fail. Someone that we can always count on. What is interesting in both scenarios is that often we don’t ask how they are feeling or if they are ok doing what they are asked to do. Somehow things are thrown at them and they juggle with everything else they are already doing. Hence comes the saying that moms never get sick, because if they do, who will take care of the house? I remember when I was a child of a cartoon in which a father swaps tasks with the mother. While she goes out to work, he becomes responsible for the house. It took no time for disaster to take over the household. What the father was not able to do all day, it took no time for the mother to put everything in place. Therefore, we do have heroes in our midst, role models that are often forgotten or overseen.
With the latest turn and twists from Hollywood and Disney and all that, there has been a movement to ignore the current shows and look back into the old ones. In that movement, we should also look into other mothers in history to comprehend better their values. On a podcast I heard a while back, there was a senator from another country who renounced her career to take care of her children at home. There was a lot of criticism saying that being in politics, she would be able to change the life of people. Her response to that was that if we look back in history, all the greatest leaders and people who changed the world, they all had mothers who prepared well their foundations of morals and values. So her choice will still affect the lives of many people, by helping their children to be Christians, loving God and their neighbor. If we look in the scriptures, there we will find many cases of mothers who formed their children to be great followers of God. We begin with Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, and so on. In the Bible itself, there are great women who renounced their desires and aspirations, in order to serve others, whether children of their own or not, again, just look at the life of Jesus.
In our modern world, we can also find true role models, some are recognized by many, but others are not. Emilia Kaczorowska may not be a name you heard before, but what she did has affected us all tremendously. One of her greatest acts were to decide to have her third child, after refusing the doctor’s advice to have an abortion because of her frail health. By the courageous effort along with her husband Karol Wojtyła (Sr), their baby and our late pope Karol Wojtyła was born. The same could be said about women who never had children of their own, yet they are known by the title of Mother, such as Mother Cabrini or Mother Teresa of Calcutta. On this weekend, in which we honor our mothers, let’s pause and reflect on everything they have done for us. For those who have not had positive experiences, I’m quite sure that they did everything in their reach to help and protect us. Even those who were called by God shortly after when we were born, the mere fact that they opened themselves to receive life from God and went through the arduous process of giving birth, already make them our heroes. So, yes, we do have plenty of heroes and role models nowadays, we just need to look more carefully.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!
Father Steven Clemence