It‟s about coming home. Mother‟s Day is about reflecting on coming home and giving love and reverence to our mother, and this is what dad loves to see. Mother‟s Day is a special day because God has given us life through our par-ents, and especially through our mother who nurtured and nourished us in her womb for about 9 months before birthing us, and walking with us so that we might grow in love.
The above is true on a supernatural level. The Easter Season is about coming home since we are filled with God‟s divine life as we thank and praise the Risen Lord Jesus Christ as the source of all life and love, human and divine. We experience the outpouring of God‟s divine life and love – sanctifying grace – through Holy Mother Church and her Sacraments which are bestowed upon her by the love of Jesus Christ. Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is the distributor of these divine graces and God calls us to cooperate with her to receive them, for God the Father passionately wants to make an everlasting and spacious home within our hearts.
In today‟s Gospel of John, 14:15-21 we read how God has given us his holy commandments that are the building blocks of true love, meaningful relationships: “Jesus said to his disciples: „If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you an-other Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you and will be in you….Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.‟”
God loves us unconditionally, but we need to love Jesus in return to be saved, for then we remain in God‟s love and can see how God reveals that love to us by living at home within God‟s Church, our spiritual home.
Mary received her Divine Spouse, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and conceived and followed Jesus Christ perfectly. She loves God above all things, and thus loves God appropriately within all things, especially his divine family and sacred gifts found fully within his Catholic Church. We are called to do the same. Mary, and really any mother, wants her children to come to love God above all things, and to love the reflection of God within all things appropriately, in order that we can be assured to arrive at our Eternal Home to be together forever.
There is an organization called “The Coming Home Net-work International” (CHNI) which gives much support and inspiration for people coming back home to the practice of their Catholic faith after years of being distant, as well as for other Christians coming home since they have come to believe, as do we, that Jesus Christ is the Divine Head and Sustainer of his Catholic Church – our spiritual home that leads us to perfect relationships in our heavenly home.
In its recent newsletter Melissa Slagle, a convert to the Catholic faith, responds to the question: When did you come into the Church and what did God use in your life to lead you home? MS: I came home in 2006. I had been a very happy Baptist, and then in 2003 my oldest daughter joined a Oneness Pentecostal Church. In trying to understand what she was being taught, I realized how far
from my beliefs this Pentecostal Church was. This led to a lot of prayer and study. I soon discovered this was not unique to Baptists and Pentecostals but was pretty widespread among all Protestant Churches. This created a great desire for truth, authoritative truth. I found myself asking…Where is my Paul? (My note: As in St. Paul who wrote many inspired letters to the young churches resolving a variety of issues). I wanted someone I could write a letter to that could come and clear all this con-fusion up for us. God showed me that He actually had given me a Paul, in his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Q: May is the month of Mary. Tell me about your relationship with our Blessed Mother. Was that an easy transition for you or did you struggle?
MS: Understanding the dogmas about Mary was actually very easy. It made sense, especially when I saw how each dogma actually points to a truth about Jesus. Where I struggled was in having a relationship with Mary. Why did I need to do that? But God gave me a great grace one day and showed me exactly why I needed Mary.
I was having a conversation with my son’s fiancé, Mandy… We were talking about her favorite topic…my son. I looked at her and said, “do you really want to hear that story again, surely you want to talk about something else.” Her answer was a watershed moment of grace for me. She looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, “I can’t wait to be Stephen’s wife and I love him so much. It’s hard for me to imagine that I could love him any more than I do right now. But every time you tell me about him, and I see him through your eyes (his mother’s eyes) I fall in love with him even more!”
And there it was. To see Jesus through His mother’s eyes leads us to fall in love with Him in a whole new way, in a way only a mother can. When she shows us her son, we see Him as we never have before.
During Mother‟s Day weekend, and really every day, we should honor our mothers by sharing with them God‟s love and gratitude. And during this month of May, the Month of Mary, let us honor Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, in a special way by seeing Jesus Christ through her eyes, and thus coming home to a deeper relationship with God, Christ, Mary, and one another.
Have a blessed Mother‟s Day weekend!
Peace in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe