by Rev. Mark Connolly

All of us of a Catholic background know that the month of May is devoted to the Mother of Christ. All of us know that there is a special Sunday devoted to our mothers and the mothers across the country. What often happens on these occasions, because of all the celebrations, is that we take for granted the persons whom we are honoring. Why has the month of May been set aside to honor Mary, the Mother o f Christ? Why has a Sunday been set aside to honor the mothers of our homes?

First of all, if there is anyone who should be in debt to the Mother of Christ, it is the Catholic Church. Just go back to the time when Good Friday has taken place. The apostles were scared and frightened. They had abandoned Christ in his most critical hour. It was Mary, the Mother of Christ, who reunited them. She gathered them together to direct, to guide and to lead them during this critical period. The Catholic Church that we have today has benefitted over the centuries by this same person - by her influence, her direction and her guidance. This month of May is not just to remind us of the strength she gave to the apostles, but also that her desire is to share her strength with every follower of her son. This month of May is to remind us that the closer we are to Mary, the more Christ-like we become.

Why then do we honor the mothers of today? Well, we know God gave us the commandment to honor our mothers, but we also honor them for other reasons. Like Mary, the Mother of Christ, they are usually the ones who give us our first introduction into that which is sacred and spiritual. Their faith and love for us is that which has given us the gift of love and the gift of life. It was their faith that prompted them to risk their lives in bearing us and to spend their lives in bearing with us. It was their love that prompted them to give the best they had so that life for us would be happy and that life for us would have meaning and value. Whatever their limitations might have been, most of them are women who lived by faith and worked out of love. That is why we honor Our Blessed Mother and our own mothers. This is the time we thank them and God for what they have given to us. This is the occasion to remind them that we never taken that which they have given us for granted.

There is no doubt that the ideal mother in the sight of God is His own Blessed Mother. Who is the ideal mother next to her? She is the mother whom God has given to us. She is the person who is a better person today than she was yesterday. She is closer to God today than yesterday. She is the one whose life is an inspiration and her memory will be a benediction.

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