Three Mothers

A panel of experts was asked to complete some sentences about their moms. What made them experts was the one thing they all had in common: they were all in kindergarten. Here are the sentences and their answers:

My mom is best at "driving," "cleaning," "running," "watering the garden," "making my bed," and "feeding the dog." If I had enough money, I'd buy her: "flowers," "a car," "a necklace," "a kitten," "a diamond ring," "a big pack of bubble gum."

It makes me feel good inside when Mom says: "good job," "dinnertime!" "You look handsome," "I'll buy you something" "I love you." My mom is as pretty as a "butterfly," "ballerina," "mouse," "princess," "goose," "gold ring," "a clean horse."

I would like to share with you about three mothers. The first one never talks back to me. But in my mind, I know that whenever I talk to her, she smiles because she knows about my weaknesses and failures. Her name is Mary, the mother of our Lord. She is a mother to me because of Jesus. It was because of her that I understood what the Beatles sang years ago, “When I found myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it be.”

“Let it be” was the Blessed Mother’s response to the angel Gabriel when she was invited to be part of our salvation. Let it be done to me according to your word, she said. How wonderful our world would be if we only let God be.

The second mother is the Church, which is where we all belong. She is called in Greek ekklesia, which means a gathering or an assembly. I prefer to call her familia, because the Church is like a family to me. Priests, by reason of their ordination and because they represent Christ, becomes wedded to the Church. That may quite change things a little bit whenever we talk about weddings. With marriages come in-laws. And as we all know we, priests in the Diocese of Trenton, had a new father-in-law since last year: Bishop O’Connell. We retired our old father-in-law.

Then, there is my natural mother. The first lady I ever knew had the most beautiful face I had ever seen. Her name is Manuela. She was born a week and a day after Christmas and her name means “God is with us.” Because of her, I came to know about God. She taught me how to pray, how to believe and how to live my life.

Nothing can escape a mother’s eye for moms are always watchful for their children’s wellbeing. Nothing can prevent a mother’s tears if her children are in pain.

If moms are to be faulted, it is because they love their children so much that they could get irrational about it. I remember the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin approaches his mother and asks, "Can Hobbes and I go play in the rain, Mom? The mother says, "No." Calvin asks, "Why not?" Mom says, "You'll get soaked." Calvin then asked, “What's wrong with that?" And the mother says, "You could catch pneumonia, run up a terrible hospital bill, linger a few months, and die." Calvin, looking out the window at the rain, says, "I always forget. If you ask a mom, you get a worse-case scenario." Hobbes adds, “I had no idea these little showers were so dangerous."

I learned a lot from these three mothers, just as I hope that you also learned a lot from yours. My three mothers are all divine creation. But, they are all human. Except for the Blessed Mother who was assumed into heaven, my Mom and the Church are still anchored in this temporary life. Both of them are still beset by struggles and problems along the way. Both of them can sometimes be misinterpreted and misunderstood. And both of them I know will always be and ever be loved.

The 6 year old said it best. It makes us all feel really good inside when Mom says, “I love you,” because a mother’s love is probably the closest example we have to God’s love.

8 May 2011

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