May 14, 2018
In our country today we honor our Mothers; so Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mothers, Stepmothers, and Grandmothers. Some of us also have women who might not be our biological mothers, but they have “adopted” us and “mothered” us. We are so very grateful for the life you have given us all. Thank you for your unconditional love, your example, your presence and support throughout our lives.
In the Church we also celebrate the return of Jesus, through his Ascension to his Father in heaven. I wondered if there might be any connection between these two celebrations - Mother’s Day and Ascension? Maybe St. Francis can help us with that.
Last week I wrote about St. Francis’ devotion to Mary and shared a prayer he wrote. That made me think of another of his writings, one we call a Letter to all the Faithful. There are two versions of this letter, but this is from his first. In that letter St. Francis suggests that all the faithful of the church (men, women, religious, lay, ordained, etc.) are called to be “mothers” of the Lord, and “give birth” to him. We are to be a dwelling place for the Lord, and bring him forth into our world. Let me share his words with you:
How happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things, and persevere in doing them because
“the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon them,” and the Lord will make “His home and dwelling place with them.”
They are the children of the Heavenly Father whose works they do. They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. We are his spouses when the faithful soul is united by the Holy Spirit with Our Lord Jesus Christ. We are brothers when we
do the will of the Father who is in Heaven. We are mothers when we bear Him in our hearts and bodies with divine love and with
pure and sincere consciences, and we give birth to Him through a holy life which should enlighten others because of our example.
Jesus has ascended and returned to his Father, but we were not left orphaned, in fact, St. Francis sees us as still intimately connected to Jesus. He is still present among us and has given us his Spirit, and we will celebrate the feast of Pentecost next Sunday. With God’s spirit working through us, we are all mothers of Jesus, bringing him forth in our world through a holy way of life. So if you will allow me to with ALL the mothers of Jesus, that is, all Christians, a blessed day. I look forward to celebrating the gift of God’s spirit with you next Sunday!