The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the love of a mother. ~St. Therese of Lisieux
On this Mothers’ Day, how appropriate that the Word of God draws our attention to the Good Shepherd who reminds us that “my sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) Mothers instinctually recognize this. I address these reflections to however your family relates to “Mother” and how she relates to you. It is all in Christ.
“Mom, Mama, Mother” or something like this were the first words we formed as tiny infants. Always hungry, needing diaper change, always needy. And you were there, Mother, available with milk, or a powdered butt and a fresh diaper. Ah! How good it was.
You fed us with your milk before we knew what it meant to eat. Taking care of diapers, dirty clothes, and, when we were tired, or whined, or were in tears, you were there.
Sometimes you have had only God’s presence or voice inside of you to keep you company. “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
Many years later, when we fell in love for the first time and only you, Mom, knew what was going on. When we fell out of love, and you could help us pick up the pieces of loss, anger, confusion and hurt.
Mother’s little secret is where she gets the energy. “My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. No one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10: 27-28)
Men, you had better love your woman. Maybe you were never very emotional. Or maybe you question if you had ever made her happy. Has there been times when you made her feel special? It is never too late, until…?
She got through disappointments or self doubt because you let her know that she was loveable. Even though you were not able to find the right words, you stayed with her by her side.
Sons, daughters, grandchildren, how many years were you totally dependent upon your Mom? How many times, did you just walk away, not realizing from what you were leaving…all the energy, patience, mercy, and the desire she had deep within her to be able to understand you, and even, take you in her arms. It is never too late, until…?
How many times did you not pay attention to what your Mom has gone through. (She does not want you to know)
Mothers can hide their grief, their loneliness, they do not want to burden anyone, so they carry their own burden.
Yet, our burdens, all the stuff we carry around, our mothers are there to carry, they are there with us not just for us. Our fears, our worries, – mothers have this capacity to hold us up, not to abandon us.
Need a further explanation? Look at the One who lives inside of her. You can find him on the Cross. “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.”
Mothers’ Day – tell her something important today.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P., is the administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Birmingham, Alabama.