Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Congratulations, first of all to all of
the ladies of our parish who are mothers, and congratulations once again to
those who are grandmothers. I hope that all of you will enjoy your day.
And, I hope that I don't really have to remind you—those of you whose
mothers are still living—to be sure and stop by or call your mother to tell
her how much you love her. And lets all pray during this Mass for the souls
of those mothers who are no longer with us.
And, let us not leave
out those women and men who, while not being mothers themselves, have
pitched in and helped with the raising of children when their mothers were
Make no mistake about
it, motherhood is a vocation—a very important one—one which, indeed, shapes
the society in which we all live, whether we have children of our own or
not. Certainly, many of the evils we are experiencing in society today are
directly attributable to the war that the devil has been waging on the
institution of the family, and particularly to the war waged on motherhood.
Perhaps the greatest lie of the 20th century is the lie that a woman who
raises her children is somehow incomplete if she has not also made a career
for herself in the business world.
There is no good
alternative to the nurture of a loving mother. A child may be safe in day
care, and may learn many things in a good school, but that is not enough.
It takes a mother (and a father) to instill good behavior, and manners, and
piety, and respect for others. It takes love to learn love, so that a child
may some day grow up to be a good mother or father.
Motherhood is not an
easy vocation. It may involve sleepless nights, and hard work to keep
things in order. It often involves a measure of self-denial, and sometimes
a measure of boredom or longing for things more exciting. The grass may be
greener on the other side of the fence, but a good mother must not allow
herself to see that; and she may have added difficulties caused by a
husband that doesn't fully acknowledge his own responsibilities. In spite
of any and all of these things she holds things together.
It is altogether
appropriate for Mother's Day to fall during May each year, when the Church
directs our thoughts to the Blessed Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the
saintly Pope Leo XIII put it, a little over a hundred years ago: “The Holy
Family exemplified in the highest degree those praiseworthy qualities of
ordinary home life which spring from the mutual exercise of charity, from
holiness of character, and from the expression of filial devotion....
Mothers have an outstanding example of love and modesty, of the spirit of
submission and perfect trust in the most holy Virgin, Mother of God.”
But, Mary, of course,
is more than just a model mother to be imitated by the women of today. She
is and should be the patroness of everyone engaged in the raising of a
family. Certainly, she who raised her own Divine Son, and who dwells with
Him today, body and soul, is a constant source of intercession for all of
the graces needed to persevere in our own family life. It is said that as
our Lord hung on the Cross and confided His Mother and Saint John to their
mutual care, He confided all of us, as sons and daughters, to the care of
Our Lady: “Behold thy Mother.”
“Holy Mary, Mother of
God, pray for us sinners....” Having Mary for a patroness means more than
simply having her picture in the bedroom or the kitchen; more than owning a
pretty rosary that stays in the drawer with the stockings. Having Mary for
a patroness means going to her regularly, engaging her in the conversation
of prayer; perhaps making the effort to attend her Masses on Saturdays, and
making actual and frequent use of those rosary beads.
Our “Lord Jesus
Christ, our mediator with the Father, has appointed the most blessed Virgin,
[His] mother to be our mother also and our mediatrix.”
Those of you who are practicing the all important vocation of
motherhood—and indeed all of us who live in this world—can and should bring
our needs to Mary, so that she can ask them of her Son.
May God bless all of
you who are mothers; and may He bless all of us who are devoted to His
Blessed Mother, and ours.