Years ago, while driving home with my family from celebrating a Mother’s Day dinner, there was a beautiful rainbow in the sky. I remembered the quote from this week’s Gospel, which was also the Gospel on that Mother’s Day many years ago: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, where I am you also will be.” (John 14: 1) I told my parents that I thought the rainbow was a sign from God for all the mothers who had lost a child that year. Today, as a grown daughter who lost her very precious and dear Mother a year ago, I know that a rainbow, and these words of Jesus, also may bring comfort and peace this Mother’s Day for children whose Mothers are now with God.
Perhaps it is because of the recent loss of my own Mom that my attention is drawn to news regarding how our nation is treating Mothers. Is our country seriously attempting to cut healthcare funding for maternity care? Are leaders of our country (i.e. the Attorney General and Homeland Security) having conversations about separating children from their mothers as they flee violence and attempt to enter the United States? Was our Attorney General referring to Mothers (or any human being) when, in his prepared speech to the border control in Nogales, Arizona, he referred to those crossing the border as “filth” (a word he omitted during the actual speech)? How many families are we tearing apart, how many Mothers are we separating from their children (including from at least one special needs child) through deportation?
St. Francis quoted this week’s Gospel as the first sentence in his Sacred Admonitions: “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life…” (John 14: 6) Throughout His public life, Jesus gave his disciples examples for all time of how genuine faith leads to action. Our baptismal mandate impels us to take action against injustice shown toward any Mother and toward any human being. This week’s Gospel assures that those who attempt to live lives following His Way, His Truth and His Life “will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these.” (John 14: 12) As Francis was dying he is attributed with saying to his brothers, “I have done what was mine to do; may Christ teach you what you are to do.” In an Apostolic Letter dated 46 years ago Sunday, Pope Paul VI mirrors these words of St. Francis when he urges “Let everyone examine themselves, to see what they have done up to now, and what they ought to do. It is not enough to….point to crying injustice and utter prophetic denunciations; these words will lack real weight unless they are accompanied for each individual by a livelier awareness of personal responsibility and by effective action.” (Apostolic Letter, May 14, 1971 (48)) May we honor our Mothers today by asking Christ to teach us what is “ours to do,” and by taking effective actions against the injustices shown towards Mothers in our society.
Sister Maryann Mueller, CSSF
FAN Board Secretary