May 9, 2021
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers,
Grandmothers, Stepmothers and Godmothers - all of you play the role of mother to a child. May God bless you today and always for what you have done and will do. Your job is not always easy, but it does have rewards that are priceless.
I have fond memories of my own mother and I focus on them a bit more on Mother’s Day. She passed away when I was twenty so it’s important for me to keep those memories alive. Now I’m not fond of all of them in the same way. I got my share of spankings growing up (actually, if I think about it, I got some of my brothers’ shares too!). But even the memories I’m not fond of still remind me of her love for me.
I remember one early morning, driving across town in the dark to go to Mass on a holy day, complaining about why we had to get up so early, that it was so cold, that my brothers and I were the only ones that had to endure this torture! But she was teaching us the importance of making sure God is part of our lives and she was doing it out of love.
Our readings today also focus on love. The message in our first reading today is particularly significant in our divided world. But Peter makes clear in that reading that division is not God’s way:
“In truth, I see that God shows no partiality.”
In other words, God loves all his children exactly the same, regardless of what they believe, say act or do. Imagine how different our world would be if we loved as God loves!
The Gospel today teaches us how to experience that kind of love – by loving each other as Jesus loved us, by being willing to take care of each other, not by dividing us into an “us against them” world. Jesus doesn’t say love only the people who think like us, worship like us, look like us, believe like us. His command is very simple: “love one another.” Notice, this is not a request from Jesus, this is a command!
Finally, our second reading teaches us the importance of living this command. John explains that if we don’t love as Jesus taught us, then we don’t know God:
“Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
That really made me stop and think. I believe I know and love God, but can that really be true if I don’t love as Jesus commanded me?
Now mothers are not perfect, but a mother’s love is a great gift. God’s love however goes beyond even a mother’s love, because he gave us His Son, for our salvation. The rest is up to us – to listen to his Son and love one another!