Theotokos-- Mary, the "God-Bearer". The Mother of Jesus, who is Lord and God...and our Mother!
Today we are given rich readings through Holy Mother Church to celebrate this Easter Sunday (the 6th of Easter). We hear in our first reading how Saint Peter properly redirects the glory to God for the miracle that was given through him.
In our second reading, Saint John the Evangelist reminds us what God really is: Love. Love is never self-fulfilling but always self-giving. The Father gives us the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son gives us the Father and the Holy Spirit through the suffering and redemptive action of the Cross. This great Paschal Mystery, the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ amounts to God's greatest gift: Love. His Love. Divine Love. The Love we need to live. The Love we need to laugh. The Love that empowers us in faith to Almighty God. The Love that Saint Augustine tells us fills the void of our hearts from life without God. The great bishop and Doctor of the Church tells us, "Our hearts are restless into they rest in you (God)" (Confessions I:1).
Life absent and devoid of God manifests itself when we turn away from God and sin. This reality can be confusing when we take into account that the world in which we live has been and is becoming a very sinful world. This affects our ability to be sanctified and remain holy.
In our Gospel, Jesus teaches us about love. "There is no greater love than when one lays his life down for one's friends." We are his friends, by virtue of our baptism. He died for us and our salvation (Nicean Creed). We must be in touch with our sinfulness, in fact our specific actions of sin in order to participate in this love.
This is my favorite picture of my Mom. My mother was not very big on candid photos so I surreptitiously snapped this one on home leave from the Marine Corps in late 1988. It was a very happy occasion that year for our first "little one" was born, Haylee Rorke Greenwood. Our (6 siblings) first niece (and sister's first child) and my mother's first grandchild.
I love the photo because of what it says in my Mom's expression: I love you, little one. You, through my daughter are bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh (Gen 2f). I imagine my mother thinking, "What will become of you."
Sometimes profoundly consoling.
Always expressive and meaningful.
Jesus commands us today to-
REMAIN IN MY LOVE (Jn 15:9)
Love cannot be re-defined so as to accept what is contrary to our Trinitarian God's Natural Law. You do not need to be educated (or re-educated) on what Love is, some how staking a very false claim that we do not possess the truth. Simply observe nature to learn the divine law. Birds are nesting. They are certainly the very same species. But they are also, with logically certainty male and female.
I AM the WAY, and the TRUTH and the LIFE. No one, no one, comes to THE FATHER (TO HEAVEN) except through ME (Jn 14:6).
This means that we can and will be "hated" for following Christ and expressing our faith through His one Church. "If the world hates you, remember it hated ME first (Jn 15:18).
My friends we are in a spiritual battle for the salvation of souls, perhaps for all time. We can firmly say with ease that we can characterize this battle as the greatest one for our great country since the Civil War, nearly 150 years ago.
Seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
Sanctify yourself through the Sacraments of the Church, She who is the universal sacrament of salvation.
Extra Ecclesium nulla salus.
Happy Mother's Day!
Happy Mother's Day!
Happy Mother's Day!
As a priest friend recently said to me (and will offer this to the congregation where he serves this weekend):
Enjoy Mother's day, for we do not know how long our government will allow us to celebrate it.
Let us then offer our prayers and supplications to the One who came and comes to us on the altar at Catholic Mass. The One who came,
"To make all things new" (Rev 21:5).