Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy Mother’s Day! To all mothers, grandmothers, Godmothers, spiritual mothers, we wish you a blessed day! Today we celebrate all the special women in our lives, those women who bring so much light and joy and beauty into our world. We celebrate the unique contribution of women to our world, sharing what Pope St. John Paul II spoke of as the “feminine genius.”
And we do this, remarkably enough, in a time where so many try to blur the distinctions which set women apart. In our world, part of the quest for equality has become the quest for sameness, and we’ve lost sight of the unique gifts that women and men bring to our world. Part of the beauty of creation is that God made men and women to complement each other in ways that make them greater than they would be alone. A mother and father, a brother and sister, an aunt and an uncle, each shares the same humanity and yet each brings certain gifts that would leave humanity incomplete without the other.
In this month we also celebrate in a special way the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Blessed Mother. We will be crowning her next Sunday after the 9AM Mass to recognize her central role in our salvation and her title as Queen of Heaven and Earth. And it is fitting that we look to her, because she reveals to us the perfect example of what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a woman of faith. John Paul II wrote, “It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement.”
Today we express our gratitude to all these beautiful maternal influences in our lives then, who incarnate that example of our Blessed Mother. On behalf of everyone here at the parish, I echo the words of gratitude, again, of John Paul II:
~Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This experience makes you become God’s own smile upon the newborn child, the one who guides your child’s first steps, who helps it to grow, and who is the anchor as the child makes its way along the journey of life.
~Thank you, women who are wives! You irrevocably join your future to that of your husbands, in a relationship of mutual giving, at the service of love and life.
~Thank you, women who are daughters and women who are sisters! Into the heart of the family, and then of all society, you bring the richness of your sensitivity, your intuitiveness, your generosity and fidelity.
~Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of ‘mystery’, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.
~Thank you, consecrated women! Following the example of the greatest of women, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, you open yourselves with obedience and fidelity to the gift of God’s love. You help the Church and all mankind to experience a ‘spousal’ relationship to God, one which magnificently expresses the fellowship which God wishes to establish with his creatures.
~Thank you, every woman, for the simple fact of being a woman! Through the insight which is so much a part of your womanhood you enrich the world’s understanding and help to make human relations more honest and authentic.
Yours in Christ,