A few years ago, I heard the story of an exceptional woman. I thought it would be appropriate to repeat it for you this weekend. Her husband was a stroke victim, paralyzed and bedridden. She had three small school-aged children and another in her arms. She worked to support her family. After work, she rushed home to cook, wash, scrub and care for her husband and children. Surprisingly, she had a faint smile on her face as she told her story. “It’s God’s will,” she said. There were no tears. She reminded me of the poet Wadsworth’s words about an oak tree after the lightening had struck it, still standing.
So why am I relating this story? Because today is Mother’s Day and I think this mother is a real heroine. When we think of heroes, we often think of the glorious procession of men and women through the ages who lived extraordinary lives and died extraordinary deaths. They often sound to many people as superhuman.
But today, especially as we remember our own mothers, we know them to be real heroines. They are ordinary people who are willing to try to live according to God’s will of serving God and serving one another, even when the going is difficult. They were never in the limelight; never hit the headlines. And yet, they are true heroines. They taught us about God and they taught us about the joy of living, smiling all the while, making others happy and making us feel that it is better to be close to God and happy than to be running around and cursing, anxious and unhappy. They taught us that in life, nothing is ‘ordinary’ or ‘routine’ because everything should be done for the love of God, family and one’s fellow human beings. No big deal, no big talk – just fidelity to daily duty, quiet care for family and extended family, unselfish service to others, especially those who can do little for us in return.
So, on this Mother’s Day we ought to remember these heroines in our midst and in our personal lives with love and gratitude. Let us learn from them how to be good Catholics, good parents, good sons and daughters – transmitting to the next generation all that we were taught by our mothers so that we can build a better world by building a stronger and more encouraging Catholic family.
May they continue to pray for us as we continue to pray for them today and every day.
To all the mothers of our parish of Annunciation-Our Lady of Fatima – a happy, blessed and joyous Mother’s Day!