This Mother’s Day weekend is a natural time for all of us to reflect upon the love we received from our mother. The sacrifices they made — the power of their comfort, the wisdom we did always appreciate, and the hard work required of them. This is a weekend to think of the beauty and gift that women bring to our world.
My mother died in 2006 and she is missed everyday. Just thinking of her brings forth strong emotions….especially at this time of year.
Love … a mother’s love. Nothing like it. Those who cherish good memories are richly blessed. When most of our memories begin at age 5 or 6, how can we even imagine what the 9 months of pregnancy were like — or those years of which we know not? The first steps in life — those sleepless nights, those dirty diapers.
Our mothers deserve our appreciation, our gratitude, and our dedication to them. All women need to be recognized for their contributions to family life, Church, and community. They deserve legal and ethical protection —- men and women are equal in dignity.
On this 6th weekend of the Easter Season, Jesus calls us to a different kind of love that many of us will never be called to give. This is a love that goes beyond the sentimental expressions of love found in a greeting card. The type of love that cannot be shown with flowers or a loving meal. Jesus is calling us to love without cost … and reminds us of how he laid down his life for all of us.
In recent days we have seen dramatic examples of sacrificial love:
> there was the teacher outside of Seattle, WA who alertly recognized that a student with a handgun was planning to bring down hell upon the students of his high school. He tackled the student, risking his own life as gun shots were directed toward the ceiling.
> there was the mother in Baltimore who recognized her son in the protest line and grabbed him from behind and dragged him off as she swatted him in the head. She did not care what her son thought or what her friends might think …. she was not going to allow her son to run the risk of being killed.
> also in Baltimore, there was the Vietnam Veteran who got between protestors and police officers — pointed his finger at the protestors and told them to go home. He stood alone, he was one man, he was willing to suffer abuse from both sides.
This kind of love took risk — it meant doing good for others — others who might not even appreciate it. They took risk and stepped forward even if it meant the loss of everything they had.
That is love that I wonder if — or how often — I might be willing to stand up and to step out.
Too often we see — we live — SHOW LOVE — it is so easy to do a loving deed, a charitable act ….. but to love another is to embrace them as they are, not as we wish they were. To love another is to want, to work for, the good of another more than my “own good.”
The love of Jesus was not very comfortable. The love of Jesus was unsettling. The love of Jesus had no guarantee of getting anything in return.
Under the guise of religious liberty, we hear calls to show UN-LOVE to others because our “conscience would be offended.” Oh, please. “I love them, I just do not approve of what they do” ……..words, blah, blah — an OLD cover for being unloving.
Where is the love Jesus calls for when he says: “Love one another because love is of God.” (1st letter of St. John 4:7-10) Love because love is of God — not because we agree with them or what they do or how they live.
Can a “Christian” doctor refuse love/service to a Muslim man because the doctor thinks Islam is a false religion and an un-truth?
1 John 3:18-24 reminds us that we are to “love not in word or speech, but in deed and in truth.”
A kind gesture to Mom on Mother’s Day is a good deed and a part of healthy family life. But, the same love must be there in reality 364 other days of the year. This kind of love requires a mindset, an attitude. This kind of left indicates an approach to life and a way of living.
When I draw lines of what is required of another BEFORE I show love, then I know not love and I know not God. When I set conditions on my love, I have not met the challenge set out in the Gospel reading of today.
The call of Jesus in the Gospel is what is meant when we say Christianity is radical and radically different. Jesus REALLY wants us to love everyone and to show it in deed, not just words or speech.
How am I doing? How are you doing?