Happy Mother’s Day! It is a great blessing to be able to express my thanks to all of the mothers (living and deceased) of our parish. In the early church, Christians celebrated a day to honor Mary, the Mother of God, and later expanded it to celebrate all mothers. As time passed, children would bring gifts and flowers to their mothers after a prayer service in church to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary is the greatest of all mothers. The next greatest mother is our own mother. Like the Blessed Mother, our mothers are extraordinary women who dedicate themselves to caring, sacrificing, and protecting the gift of life that God has given in their children. Whether still alive or gone before us to eternal life, our mothers continue their sacrificial love and the important role of bringing us to a deeper relationship with God.
Of course, our thankfulness to these two great mothers should not be expressed just one day of the year, but frequently. We don’t need to give flowers, chocolates, or expensive gifts, but more importantly, our very love in return for the love they have shown to us. This can be expressed by a nice gift, a weekly phone call, a monthly visit, a tender hug, or a dinner out at her favorite restaurant. As long as it is given with heartfelt love and appreciation, that is the honor due to this gift of motherhood.
For me, the Blessed Mother Mary and my mom Jeanne have shown me the importance of a mother’s love and care for the salvation of my soul and the entire world. Though I don’t have much to offer, I give this prayer, as a token of my thankfulness and love:
“Almighty and loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless all mothers that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.”
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of death. Amen.”
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Father Andrew Heiman