Sunday, May 9, 2010
BLESSED MOTHERS' DAY!
In my opinion, the best screen depiction of the Blessed Mother from the "Passion of Christ"
More of Mel Gibson's Mother of Sorrows
My homily for Mother's Day, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, or the Fifth Sunday after Easter depending on your ordinary or extraordinary outlook on liturgical calendars!
Introduction: This coming Thursday, is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope Benedict will travel to Fatima, Portugal this Thursday to honor Our Blessed Mother under that title and to recall that Twenty-nine years ago on this coming Thursday, May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot at St. Peter’s square and narrowly escaped death. After his miraculous recovery, Pope John Paul II attributed the sparing of his life to the Blessed Mother, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima. Cardinal Sadona commenting on the Pope’s escape from death said, “It appeared evident to His Holiness that it was a motherly hand, which guided the bullet’s path, enabling the dying Pope to halt at the threshold of death.”
Topic Statement: The motherly care of the Blessed Mother has protected the Body of Christ, the Church, throughout the ages by guiding the evil that is inflicted upon the Church in a way that will not be fatal.
1. The Blessed Mother is an image of what the Church is and thus we refer to the Church as Holy Mother Church.
A. “Somebody said”
A mother is an unskilled laborer. Somebody never gave a squirmy infant a bath.
…You know how to be a mother by instinct. Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.
…That “good” mothers never yell at their kids. Somebody’s child never sent a baseball through a neighbor’s picture window.
…A mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in books. Somebody never had a child stuff beans up their nose.
…A mother adores her children. Somebody never tried to comfort a colicky baby at 3 A.M.
…A mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back. Somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies into a cookie-selling brigade.
…The hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery. Somebody never watched her “baby” get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten.
…Your mother knows you love her, so you don’t have to tell her. Somebody isn’t a mother.
B. The vocation of motherhood mirrors the demanding love of Christ—love that is total and selfless, love that has neither limits nor conditions, love that is given freely without any expectation of return. Motherhood points to the Holy Mother Church carrying the love God and nurturing this love amongst God’s children. Mothers are models for us of what it means to be authentic disciples of Jesus. As we honor our mothers today, let us embrace the spirit of hard, demanding, suffering love that is a mother’s gift to her children, the Blessed Mother’s love for her Son and His Church, the same spirit of love that is of the Risen Lord.
2. The role of our Mothers in the life of the Church can have an equally profound impact upon guiding children to know, love and serve Jesus Christ through the Church.
A. One of the greatest saints and theologians of the Church was Saint Augustine of Hippo. However, his early life was not at all holy. He lived a life of debauchery and scandal. However, through the example and persistent prayers of his mother, Saint Monica, St. Augustine eventually returned to the practice of the faith, became a priest and finally a bishop and one of the early Church’s greatest teachers of truth. Perhaps his own Mother’s love for him enabled him to enunciate a very important truth about the Church’s understanding of love. “What does love look like?” Love has the hands to help others; It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others. That’s what love looks like.” I suspect St. Augustine’s Mother Monica fit this description as well as was the inspiration for his teaching. Perhaps Augustine saw himself as the one loved.
B. In Saint John’s Gospel, Jesus issues his challenge to love one another as He had loved them. Jesus himself embodied love and through the Blessed Mother’s willingness to give birth to Jesus and to nurture him as He grew, Jesus makes tangible in a very human way the love that all of us should imitate. The Church like a good mother cares for our soul as we experience the Lord’s spirit and the love that nurtured Him, His mother’s love.
Conclusion: As we celebrate the loving sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross at this Mass and receive the sign of His love, His body and blood, may our love for His Holy Mother and for Holy Mother Church increase our love for Jesus Christ. Through the Church, His Bride and our mother, He has conceived us by Water and the Holy Spirit and given us the promise of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete and of eternal life.