Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Although I express my feelings about Mother’s Day sometimes, I dare to repeat it once again. I’m totally against dedicating a day for Mother’s Day. If we consider everything that a mother does in a year, I’m sure that they deserve at least ONE MONTH to celebrate, show our appreciation to them, and spoil them a little bit as well. Unfortunately, we live in times that everything is quick, time flies, and there is no time to catch our breath. As we come to a halt this Sunday, it’s essential for us as individuals, children, Catholics, and as a parish to not only truly appreciate the value of mothers, but also to defend their needs and support their mission.
Each day our society becomes more polarized between two extremes conservative and liberal, right and left, republican and democrat, up to the point man and woman. It seems that only the best counts. Therefore, there is a “rivalry” that grows in our midst to see who is right and who is wrong, who is first and who is not, and unfortunately, we end up eliminating or discarding many good things that fall off from those classifications. God does not look at these classifications, nor should we Christians. God has made man and woman in his image and likeness, in such a way that we complement each other! It is not about who is right or wrong, but who is our neighbor.
In this battle, unfortunately, mothers lose their value and significance, because they are overlooked. In the Bible one of the bravest characters are women who have taken tremendous risk to save their people, such as Deborah, Esther, Rahab. There are some other women who are mothers, who often are not in the spotlight, but whose actions were also remarkable for being selfless and courageous. I will name only a few, but there are plenty in the Bible. Moses’ mother, Jochebed, defied the Pharaoh to save her son, who later on would lead the people out of Egypt. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, is an example of humility and perseverance, as she tirelessly prayed to God to have a son, who later was consecrated to God. Samuel was one of the greatest prophets in the erection of the kingdom of Israel. Lastly, the Virgin Mary, who by accepting conceiving Jesus risked her life by possibly being accused of adultery. She bravely also accompanied her Son in his life and death. Then there are other mothers whose important role is often in the background, but no less important than others.
Therefore, I urge you this weekend, and all the days of our lives, to stop more often to contemplate the value of those around us, especially of the mothers. It is important for us to help them in their mission, to pray for them, and above all, to be grateful to them more than once a year! Here in the parish we certainly see the need to do more for the mothers. There are some ideas floating to create a group of mothers in order to help especially the young mothers to learn from those with more experience. There is always a great concern for the mothers whose children were called by God before birth. It can be a very difficult time, and this is a road that no one should be left alone. We are finalizing some details before we can unveil this and other ideas.
Please join me as we congratulate our mothers on this day as we pray for them the following prayer:
“Mary, on this day when we honor all mothers, we turn to you. We thank the Lord whom you serve for the great gift of motherhood. Never has it been known that anyone who sought your intercession was left unaided by grace. Dear Mother, thank you for your "Yes" to the invitation of the angel which brought heaven to earth and changed human history. You opened yourself to God's word and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Dear mother, intercede for all of our mothers. Ask your Divine Son to give them the grace of surrendered love so that they could join with you in giving their own "Fiat." May they find daily strength to say yes to the call to the sacrificial love- the very heart of the vocation of motherhood. May their love and witness be a source of great inspiration for all of us called to follow your Son.
On this Mothers day, Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray for us who have recourse to you.” (https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=4930
Father Steven Clemence