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Mother's Day

May 13

Written by:
5/13/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

Today, we honor and celebrate the most important person in your life: your mother. No matter who we are or what we do, there is a particular woman in our lives who originally gave us life, and we all owe her a particular debt and gift of gratitude. That unique bond that exists between a mother and her child is something to gaze upon in awe; as I remember seeing my oldest sister holding her new born child some 24 years ago; (that child is now a mother herself!) I knew that there was something special present and I was witnessing a particular gift and beauty right in front of me.

As I think now, the image of a mother is also vital to the life of the Church and the Christian, as well. We call the Church the Holy Mother, the Church, for she is our teacher in the ways of faith, she is our guardian through the life of the Sacraments, she nurtures us through the teachings of the Scriptures. All of those things we have learned on the knee or at the feet of our human mother, we learn in a spiritual way from our spiritual mother, the Church.

But the Church is not the only mother we have, for while He hung upon the Cross, Jesus also gave us His Blessed Mother to be our mother as well. By doing so, Jesus called to mind the role of the Queen Mother from the time of the monarchy in Israel. While the king was certainly the most important person in the kingdom, the Queen Mother was often the second most important. (It is good to keep in mind that the kings often had multiple wives in order to achieve peace through political machinations, instead of reliance on God to maintain that peace.)

It was often the Queen Mother who helped place her son on the throne in the Davidic Monarchy. She often was his closest and most trusted counselor; because everyone else in his life was trying to steal the throne out from under him. She was often his sole support in times of difficulty or trouble, as well. Hence, the Queen Mother had this impressive array of power and authority unlike what we see in our world today.

While some of these ‘Queen Mothers’ in the Davidic Monarchy were certainly corrupt and power hungry themselves, the Blessed Mother has no desire other than to do what Jesus commands and invites. In the Gospel of John, she provides a gentle reminder to Jesus of the needs of the crowds at the Wedding Feast of Cana; while she also relays His instructions to the servants.

She continues to do the same for us, for who could be closer to the Son of God than His own Mother? She continues to bring our needs before Her Son. She continues to give us an example of how to live out the life of the Christian. She sits near His throne to be a witness of the tenderness and beauty of our Loving Father, as well.

At this point, however, there is another thing to recognize. In the Church, we so often speak of ideals: the ideal of the Blessed Mother, the ideal of the Church as Teacher, etc. Yet, when we look at our lives, we see the mess and muck that is far from living up to that ideal. So I often invite individuals who might have a strained relationship with their human mother to turn to Mary to make up for what might be lacking or ‘less than ideal’ in their human mother. This was the example of Pope St. John Paul II when he became an orphan in his late teens. He went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland and looked with longing at the image of the Black Madonna there and simply pleaded: ‘You must be my mother now.’

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, may all of our human mothers strive to follow the example of the Blessed Mother, and may she be a loving reminder of what the beauty and grace of true motherhood represents.

In Christ,
Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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