We celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday. It surely is one of the most beautiful days of the year. Though there is no special liturgy for the U.S. observance of Mother’s Day, our own liturgy for the Fourth Sunday of Easter gives us some indication of what a Mother’s love can and should be. Consider for a moment the thoughts of two great men about the role their mothers played in their lives. George Washington once said, “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received from her.” Abraham Lincoln spoke similar words when he said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”

Unfortunately, many people in our society would not agree with these great men who had great mothers. Many think that their lives have no meaning unless they are employed in the workplace. Only in this way they regard themselves useful for society.  They consider the role of a stay-at- home mom to be a waste of time. However, although the circumstances of many women oblige them to work, many more married women now are finding that staying home and raising their children is the right way to go.

Motherhood is a very unique calling. What relationship can ever replace the love of a mother (or a grandmother)? It’s essential for women to realize that the love, guidance and influence they provide to their children are distinct and invaluable. There’s no doubt that motherhood is a very high calling. But, to whom can mothers look as the real model of motherhood?

Today’s modern culture offers many kinds of role models through television, movies and women’s magazines. However, often these role models are either all together wrong or they offer a very limited and unrealistic view of true motherhood. All mothers who wish to be true to their high calling need only look to the woman who became the greatest mother of all. Born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God. She affirmed her obedience to the call of God and lived out her vocation throughout her entire life. Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the ultimate and true model of motherhood.

St. John Paul (of recent memory) said, “It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement.  In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement” (“Redemptoris Mater”).

So, offer a prayer for your Mom today, whether she is living in this world or has gone on to the Lord. It’ll not only make you feel better, but you will have a graced moment that will lift you up as well as honor your mother and please God.

Our 8th Grade will graduate from St. Vincent Ferrer School at next Sunday’s 11:30 a.m. Mass. They have been a very lively and spirited group of young people. Their performance in last weekend’s musical show, “Mary Poppins, Jr.” was something of a bittersweet farewell for a number of them. The show was, overall, a middle school production, but the 8th grade performers really helped to make it an outstanding presentation. I enjoyed having them at Friday Mass on a weekly basis, where I would sometimes tease them in a friendly manner. Though we will miss seeing them on a daily basis in our school, I hope that they will continue to come to Mass each Saturday/Sunday weekend. Though this is not a “given,” and it may take more than a little coaxing to get them out of bed or away from some other distraction, I hope that good example from their parents will show them that the most important hour of their week is the one spent in worship of the God who created and redeemed them out of pure love. We can pray to God anywhere, but we only worship Him in his Sanctuary. If they stay close to God, I can assure them that they’ll find the way to real happiness is only through Him.