Message from Fr. Mike
MOTHER OF MERCY AND COMPASSION
Last Tuesday, was our third in-person Mass in the church with the school children. The theme of our celebration was Mother’s Day. We made the shift from my mother to Our Mother.
The homily was in the format of a dialogue. I asked the first student in the front pew this question, “What is the name of your mother?” He replied; “Andrea.” Then I said to him, “Do you know that Andrea is my mother?” You could see the surprise on his face. He paused for a few seconds and then smiled helplessly. As he continued to wonder what I just said, I asked the second student the name of her mother. She said that it is Timithie. Again, I told her; do you know that Timithie is my mother? She was shocked, but reacted faster than the first student. With a kind of shock, but resigned to the weight of the information, in a low voice she said; “Well, I didn’t know that.” I asked the third student the same question. He was so shy that he could not answer the question. I only wanted to ask three students the question but because the third student did not answer the question, I asked the fourth child. This student said boldly without any hesitation that the name of his mother is Athenel. I told him what I told the first two students. He was more of an extrovert, outgoing and jovial. He immediately said, “No way, my mother is not your mother, no way.” Before I could ask him a further question, a child in the front pew interrupted our conversation and said; “Wait a minute, how can three mothers be your mother at the same time?” I said to myself, this is the end of the game. I thanked the student for spotting the fallacy in my questions and answers.
I told the three students that I was just joking. Their mothers are their mothers. They are not my mother at all, but their mothers. However, there is a mother we all share, Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew the people asked; “Is He not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary?” (Matthew 13:55) Yes, the mother of Jesus is Mary, and she is also our mother. That makes Jesus our brother. ,
Mary, our mother, is the Mother of Mercy and Compassion. While we celebrate our individual mothers on the weekend of May 8 and 9, we celebrate Mary, our mother, the entire month of May. Therefore, it is appropriate to reflect on the title of Mary as the Mother of Mercy and Compassion. St. Faustina Kowalska tells us that she heard Mary refer to herself by this title: “I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy, and your mother.” (Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul, p. 330). However, before St. Faustina, Mary revealed herself to St. Brigid of Sweden and St. Juan Diego in these words; “I am the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Mercy; I am the joy of the just.” (St. Brigid of Sweden (Rev. 1.6, c.10) Mary is the Mother of Mercy because her son and our brother Jesus was sent by the Father as the revelation of God’s mercy. (John 3:16-18) Jesus came not to condemn, but to redeem.
Our world today is in need of a brother like Jesus and a mother like Mary. During his Holy Land trip in May 2009, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said; “During the Mass, I spoke about the prophetic charism of women as bearers of love, teachers of mercy, and artisans of peace.” Who can teach us more about mercy and compassion than Mary, the one who stood at the foot of the cross to receive the body of her wounded son? She teaches us how to stand by people who are wounded and hurt. The Pope Emeritus concluded his reflection by saying that our “supreme model of womanly virtue is the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy and Queen of Peace.”
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE WONDERFUL MOTHERS IN OUR PARISH.
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