This weekend people will be bringing flowers, chocolate, jewelry, nice cards and messages to their wonderful mothers.
This Sunday is Mother's Day, and it is appropriate to take time to honor our mothers who have blessed us with the gift of life and have supported us in so many ways, oftentimes unacknowledged. It is a day to honor them for who they are, to praise them for their many great qualities and to express appreciation for all that they do.
I will be heading to my hometown of Virginia, Minnesota, to spend time with my wonderful mother and grandmother. We will enjoy each other's company and enjoy a nice meal. I look forward to our time together. I believe this interaction must be pleasing to God.
In the Catholic church, the month of May is traditionally known as the month of Mary. Through baptism, we believe that we become one with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. We become members of his body, members of his Church.
Since we become one with Jesus, we have the blessing of being able to call Mary our mother, as Jesus did. We do not worship Mary, but we honor Mary and turn to her to receive her support to better follow in the way of God.
This past Sunday at both of my parishes, we honored Mary by crowning a statue of her with a crown made of flowers. May crowning is a common practice in many Catholic parishes around the world.
At Immaculate Heart Church, we processed out of Mass and walked outside to our Marian grotto. After crowning Mary, we then took a moment of quiet to think about people in our lives who need prayer at this time and asked our spiritual Mother to pray for them. We then concluded with a Marian hymn. It was simple but beautiful.
At St. Emily's, we processed into our Sunday celebration with the crown and crowned Mary at the beginning of Mass. It was a special beginning to our continued celebration of the Easter season.
The Gospel of John, chapter 19, verses 26-27, read: "When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."
This exchange took place at Calvary. The Catholic church sees this conversation as a beautiful invitation to intimate communion with Mary. Mary has a special place in the church, and the month of May helps us to remember this truth and acknowledge it more frequently. As it must be pleasing to God for us to honor our earthly mothers, it must also be pleasing to him for us to honor our spiritual Mother.
It is such a blessing to know that all of us have a Mother to run to, who will support us through our joys and struggles, and will embrace us in love, as she embraced her son Jesus, from Bethlehem to the cross.
Pope Francis preached in a homily earlier this year, "Devotion to Mary is not spiritual etiquette; it is a requirement of the Christian life. Looking to the Mother, we are asked to leave behind all sorts of useless baggage and to rediscover what really matters. The gift of the Mother, the gift of every mother and every woman, is most precious for the Church, for she too is mother and woman."
What a blessed requirement! Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, including Mary, our spiritual Mother!