The Gift of Motherhood
No two relationships between a mother and a child are the same. Most siblings would agree that they experience something in their own relationship with their Mom that is unique even within the same family. We recognize that the experience of carrying a child creates a bond that, even if diminished, is never broken.
Pope Francis reminds us that “a mother joins with God to bring forth the miracle of new life. Motherhood is the fruit of a ‘particular creative potential of the female body, directed to the conception and birth of a new human being’” (Amoris Laetitia, 168, quoting John Paul II, General Audience of March 12, 1980). For this reason and for the centrality of the family in society, it makes sense then that the Church join the country in honoring our mothers. From a spiritual perspective, that Mother’s Day always falls in the month of May, matches perfectly the Church’s practice of devoting the month of May to our Blessed Mother Mary, who brought Jesus into the world.
So many mothers draw strength from Mary’s witness of love for her Son and her fidelity during his passion and death. Parish celebrations during this month such as “May Crowning” or Sodality breakfasts offer an opportunity to celebrate how the love of a mother reflects the beauty of Mary, the Mother of God and Mother of the Church as a model for the love that all mothers offer their children.
The maternal gift is not only to those who bear children, but is an essential expression of the feminine. In fact, “God entrusted the human being to woman,” stressed Saint John Paul. “Certainly, every human being is entrusted to each and every other human being, but in a special way the human being is entrusted to woman, precisely because the woman in virtue of her special experience of motherhood is seen to have a specific sensitivity towards the human person and all that constitutes the individual’s true welfare, beginning with the fundamental value of life. How great are the possibilities and responsibilities of woman in this area, at a time when the development of science and technology is not always inspired and measured by true wisdom, with the inevitable risk of ‘de-humanizing’ human life, above all when it would demand a more intense love and a more generous acceptance” (Christifidelis Laici, 51).
Our world particularly needs the vibrant witness of mothers and all women to the dignity of all human life and to the necessity of putting families and the needs of families first when considering the needs of our local communities and our country. To all mothers this month – those women who gave birth to us, those who raised us, and also the woman Jesus called “Mother” and who now calls all of us her children in the Spirit – we express our great love, affection and gratitude for all that they have done and continue to do. Praise be to God for the blessings of our mothers.