The Easter Season is filled with God’s divine life as we acknowledge and praise Jesus Christ as the Source of all life and love, human and divine. We experience the outpouring of God’s divine life – sanctifying grace – through Holy Mother Church and her Sacraments bestowed upon her by the love of Jesus Christ. Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, is the distributor of these divine graces and he calls us to cooperate with her to receive them.
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love…Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:9-14 God loves us unconditionally, but we need to love God in return to be saved, and that is what is meant by remaining in God’s love – staying in the state of grace.
Mary followed Christ Jesus perfectly and loves God above all things, and thus loves God appropriately within all things, especially his divine family and sacred gifts, our family of faith, and our own family members. We strive to do the same.
Of course, Jesus perfectly lived God’s Fourth Commandment: “Honor your Father and your Mother”, by laying down his life for us on the cross at the bid-ding of his Heavenly Father, to win God’s sanctify-ing grace poured out to us through the power of the Holy Spirit and Holy Mother Church.
Jesus also perfectly honored his mother, Mary, by crowning her Queen of Heaven and Earth, as it is revealed to us in the Bible, The Book of Revelation, chapter 12: 1 – 17. This apocalyptic genre is difficult to understand, because the past and the future are often condensed into one present image, such as the following:
“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon…[that] stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth… a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.”
This refers to Mary, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and Jesus Christ, God’s divine Son. Sacred
Scripture then speaks of a great spiritual battle between God’s angels, led by St. Michael, and the fallen angels, led by Sa-tan. God wins the battle and casts Satan upon the earth while the Son is snatched up into heaven, and his Mother Mary is given “two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly to her place in the desert…” where she was taken care of for 3.5 years.
“Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her off-spring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” Rev. 12: 17. No wonder it can be very challenging to live the Catholic faith in the world, since God reveals to us from the Bible that the Devil is at war with us – the children of Mary – who strive to live as Christian disciples. Fortunately, we are on the winning team!
During Mother’s Day, 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 her, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, in a special way by celebrating at St. Mary the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Friday, May 13, 7:00 -7:50PM Adoration/Confession, and then Holy Mass at 8:00PM.
Peace in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
Fr. Thomas McCabe