Happy Mother’s Day!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers; whether they are here to celebrate with us, or living far away or enjoying Mother’s Day from heaven. What would we do without our mothers? Who better shows us the love of God than our mothers? They love us before we are born. They carry us into this world. They feed our mouths and clean our bottoms. They keep us from falling and teach us how to walk. They never give up on us even when we mess up badly. They spend their energy trying to keep us safe and sheltered, clothed, and well fed. Our moms are our greatest fans. Thanks, Mom!
In today’s Gospel, we heard about the Good Shepherd. Who’s a better shepherd than our Moms and Dads? The sheep know the voice of the shepherd like a child knows their mother’s voice. There is a bond of love between them which is instantly recognizable. The same close, intimate bond God offers to us with Jesus, as our Good Shepherd. His voice brings reassurance to us when we are weary, and a message of great hope to us when we are overwhelmed. The Good Shepherd guides us through our dark valleys to the fullness of light and life.
Let’s face it, when left to our own devices we can wander off and risk becoming lost. Each of us in our own ways can and have strayed from God’s way. Fortunately for us, by the grace of God, we have Jesus the Good Shepherd grasping our hand, bringing us back time and time again……forgiving us, making us new, refreshing our souls with divine power and strength. Wander as we do… as lost as we might become…Jesus has promised us he will leave the ninety-nine and come and find us. The question for us today is, do we truly want to be found by God? The reality of our faith and our free will is such that we must allow ourselves to be found. We can’t keep running and hiding from Jesus and expect to grow spiritually.
This is why it’s so important for our moms and dads to be ‘good shepherds’ and guard their little ones from getting lost in life’s endless challenges. Moms and Dads, your children need you to show them the way to live their lives with Jesus. To show them how to be good sheep. Your love for Jesus in the Eucharist will point your children in the right direction. Your good example receiving Jesus reverently and with great faith and devotion will communicate to your children that your close bond with Jesus is important to you and therefore important to them. If you make Sunday Mass a priority, your children stand a much better chance of making Sunday Mass a priority in their lives. If they want to come to Mass and you do not bring them you are becoming an obstacle to their faith development. With this said, I ask each of our parents to make the spiritual growth of your children just as important as their physical and educational development. Nothing you can give them will mean more in their lives than your love and the love of God you share with them.
“It is clear that the frequent reception of Jesus in Holy Communion increases their union with God, nourishes their spiritual life more abundantly, strengthens their soul in virtue, and gives them a stronger pledge of eternal happiness”. Why not give your child a better chance to be happy forever?
It is always up to us to choose good over evil, light over darkness, and life over death. We may not always be smart sheep, but as long as we choose Jesus as our Good Shepherd we will never be lost.
Happy Mother’s Day!