What theme is more universal than the importance of motherhood? We Catholics prize that nurturing relationship so highly that we call our church, "Holy Mother," and we venerate Mary, the mother of Jesus, for her pivotal role in the life of the savior. Yet, Mother's Day can bring with it a plethora of emotion and memories.
Any mother can attest to the difficulty and challenge of the task of parenting. And mothers come in all shapes and sizes. Some mothers are birth mothers, some are adoptive. Some mothers are the grandmas or aunts who raised us. Some mothers left us far too soon, and no matter when they leave, they always leave us orphans. Some mothers are the people we rebelled against; some mothers are the women we idolized. Most often, our mothers were probably both. It's a complex relationship, this parenting.
As Christian stewards, many of us are mothers but all of us are sons and daughters. During May, we honor and remember not just our own moms, but Mary, the Mother of God. We see her as the great symbol of motherhood and as our role model. At her knee, Jesus learned his prayers and the faith of his ancestors. At her hearth, Jesus grew in wisdom and grace and developed his sense of manhood and destiny.
Mothers should resist comparing themselves to Mary. It's tough enough being a mom without setting the barrier that high. But we all should ask Mary's intersession, so that in our endeavors to be good stewards and to raise good stewards, to nurture in the faith those entrusted to us, she might come to our assistance and guide us with her motherly understanding. And on Mother's Day, we ask Mary to bless all mothers, especially our own.
Happy Mother's Day to all of our mothers, especially those celebrating their first Mother's Day this year!