He is Risen! As we continue to celebrate the Easter Season, we take some time to honor our mothers. The first ones we honor on this day, of course, are our own mothers, which can lead to some very poignant moments at Christ the King, given that so many of our mothers have died. We commend them to God’s mercy and pray for the repose of their souls. I know for me personally, last Mother’s Day was particularly hard—it was the second since my mom died. I think I was still pretty much in shock that first Mother’s Day, so the second was very hard. Even now every once in a while I will see something and just for a second think: ‘I have to show that to Mom.’ That particularly applies to when I am watching Jeopardy, her favorite TV show. She would have been great on the show, but confining her gregarious self to just answering the questions would have been a monumental challenge—she would have given Alex Trebek a run for his money!
As we remember our moms who have died, we remember in a very special way the great Mother given to us all, and we commend our moms to her care, especially as we celebrate the great anniversary of her miraculous events at Fatima. Tens of thousands of people witnessed the great Miracle of the Sun, and others were touched in a variety of different ways. It is gratifying to see that, even in the midst of so much other change, many in the Church, especially among the youth (thanks in particular to St. John Paul the Great) are pursuing a relationship with their Heavenly Mother. May devotion to her continue to flourish as we pursue her maternal care.
It is particularly important that we also honor the mothers in our midst. During a time when womanhood, motherhood, family life, etc, is being so routinely disparaged, those of us who follow the Lord Jesus need to be especially aware of our responsibility to care for the mothers in our midst and to find ways to honor their precious vocation. It saddens me in particular to hear often of our mothers who receive stupid, negative comments when they appear in public with more than the politically correct 1.5 kids—and I am frequently edified and chastened by the wonderfully charitable way so many of our moms have gently responded to that criticism.
We must do more as a parish to support motherhood and family life. To that end we have created the Marriage and Family Life Commission, wonderfully chaired by Nuala Holowicki. The purpose of the commission is to help us explore different ways we can continue to support marriage and family life and help families’ experience of our functions and especially our Liturgies be better.
At its core, the assault on motherhood, and on womanhood generally, is an assault on the very fabric of our Christian culture. St. John Paul the Great’s wonderful teaching on the feminine genius has really heightened our understanding and appreciation of the gift of the feminine to the Church—which underscores the reality of what a poverty we would experience without that gift of the feminine genius! To that end, we have an additional great responsibility to do what we can to actively support all the women in our midst, because, whether or not they have children of their own, they are, in a very essential way, the mothers of our culture, and their contribution to who we are as a people is invaluable. Hopefully the Second Vatican Council’s words, in the closing address, on this subject will be even more realized in our time: “The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of women is being acknowledged in its fullness, the hour in which women acquire in the world an influence, an effect and a power never hitherto achieved.” (Closing Message of the Second Vatican Council, cited in Mulieris Dignitatem, #1.)