HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER YEAR C
THEME: THE ROLE OF MOTHERS IN OUR LIVES
BY: Fr. Anthony Kadavil
Chaplain, Sacred Heart Home, Mobile, AL
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY MAY 8 2022
Today we thank our mothers, pray for them, and honor them by celebrating Mother’s Day, offering our mothers on the altar of God.
The origin of “Mother’s Day.” Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) first suggested the national observance of an annual day honoring all mothers because she had loved her own mother so dearly. At a memorial service for her mother on May 10, 1908, Miss Jarvis gave a carnation (her mother’s favorite flower), to each person who attended. Within the next few years, the idea of a day to honor mothers gained popularity, and Mother’s Day was observed in a number of large cities in the U.S. On May 9, 1914, by an act of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. He established the day as a time for “public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.” By then it had become customary to wear white carnations to honor departed mothers and red to honor the living, a custom that continues to this day. Proverbs 31:10-31 offers us God’s description and estimation of what a godly wife and mother looks like.
The role of mothers in our lives: This is a day to admit gratefully the fact that none of us is able to return, in the same measure, all the love that our mothers have given us. Their influence on their children is so great that it affects the children throughout their lives. Our mothers not only gave us birth but nursed us, nurtured us, trained us in their religious beliefs and practices, taught us good manners and ideal behavior, disciplined us as best as they could, and made us good citizens of our country, our Church, and our society. There is a beautiful Spanish proverb: “An ounce of mother is better than a pound of clergy.” Hence, it is highly proper for us to express our love and gratitude to our mothers by our presence (if possible), gifts, and prayers on Mother’s Day. We offer this Eucharistic celebration on Mother’s Day for all the mothers in our congregation, whether they are alive here or have gone for their eternal reward. The word “Mom” is synonymous with sacrificial, agápe love in its purest form, as commanded by Jesus in his farewell speech: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Hence, let us lavish our love on our mothers and express our gratitude for them in the form of fervent prayers offered for them before God.
Remember that a Christian has two mothers: On Mother’s Day, let us acknowledge the truth that we have two mothers: our earthly mother and our Heavenly Mother, the Mother of Jesus. The Catholic Church proclaims the great nobility of the Mother of Jesus, Mary most holy, and presents her as the supreme model for all mothers. On this Mother’s Day, presenting all mothers on the altar, let us sing the beautiful song we sing on the Feast of the Presentation, “Gentle woman, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom, teach us love.” Let us show our love and appreciation for both of our mothers and let us ask our Heavenly Mother to take care of our earthly mothers. We need to be persons for others, sacrificing out time, talents, and lives for them as our mothers are now or have been doing.