I must say that it is providential and beautiful that as we recognize and celebrate Mother’s Day, the theme of today’s readings is love and the call to love one another. Let’s begin with a story…
The year was 1986, and a young teenage girl named Lisa was just entering her freshmen year at McClatchy High School. As with all teenagers, there must have been a sense of joy, excitement, and probably fear of moving up to high school. However, this story would not follow the normal pattern…it would take an unexpected turn.
Unbeknownst to her family, Lisa had become pregnant with her first child.
Struggling to grapple with this news, she had already made the decision. Amidst all the pressures of her family to seek other options such as an abortion, she, like Our Blessed Mother, gave her ultimate FIAT, her YES to life. And so, the decision was made to keep the child. Shortly thereafter, she transferred to American Legion High School to continue her studies and gave birth to her first child. A year later, she was pregnant again with her second child. And once more, she gave her FIAT, her YES to life.
With two kids and enduring a painful and violent relationship with the boys’ birth father, she made the decision to leave California and restart her life by moving to Hawai’i. She was able to find new love and ultimately, emulating the great example of St. Joseph, Chris became the boys’ new father. As with all relationships, the journey was difficult with many sacrifices being made…made out of the love that Lisa and Chris had for each other and for the kids. Life would go on and the new family would move back to the mainland. Celebrations, accomplishments, sadness, frustration, sacrifices, all the facets of life were experienced.
Today, Lisa and Chris are enjoying life in Sacramento. One son is in the military with a wife and three kids. The other son works for the State of California and has a busy volunteer life. All this would not have been possible without the conjugal love and FIAT of Lisa and Chris. A simple YES was all that mattered…a simple act of love was what mattered…and now, I am able to write this story because of that love and YES from my mom and my dad.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”John 15:12
In the Gospel today, we hear of Jesus’ exchange with His disciples where He instructs the disciples of one of the greatest commandments, to love one another. It can be said that to love one another means to love each one of our fellow brothers and sisters in the world as such; brothers and sisters. This can be quite the challenge especially when one quarrels with each other or there be differing of opinions. However, I don’t intend to speak of that because if you want that reflection, go and listen to the various homilies from churches all over the diocese.
Instead, I want to honor the great love that mothers display to their children. Of course, Fathers should be honored too, and they are! They’ll have their day next month. Mothers are the bedrock of the domestic family, the ones who sacrifice unconditionally, the ones who love until it hurts immensely. Mothers are an example of what it means to love and abide by the commandment of Jesus. Just as our Blessed Mother gave her FIAT to accept the blessing of new life, our mothers do the same. They accept the blessing to bear one of the greatest fruits that they can, children. Moreover, just as our Blessed Mother knelt at the foot of the Cross exemplifying her great love of her Son, Mothers exhibit that same example by loving their children.
So, on this Mother’s Day, honor your mother, be sure to tell her how much you love her, spoil her for the day, but above all, pray for her and give thanks to God for the love that she gives you.
A Blessed and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s reading this.
I love you Mom and thank you for saying YES to life at such a young age.