Below is my homily for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, Mother’s Day Weekend. It was given to Ss. Cosmas & Damian Parish in Punxsutawney, PA on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at the 4:30 pm parish mass.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John (John 14:1-12)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ
Somebody said that a child is carried in its mother’s womb for nine months.
Somebody does not know that a child is carried in its mother’s heart forever.
Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby.
Somebody doesn’t know that once you’re a mother, normal is history.
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct.
Somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.
Somebody said being a mother is boring.
Somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver’s permit.
Somebody said “good” mothers never raise their voices.
Somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the neighbor’s kitchen window.
Somebody said you don’t need an education to be a mother.
Somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.
Somebody said you can’t love the fifth child as much as you love the first.
Somebody doesn’t have five children.
Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books.
Somebody never had a child stuff beans up their nose.
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery.
Somebody never watched her “baby” get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten.
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married.
Somebody doesn’t know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother’s heartstrings.
Somebody said a mother’s job is done when her last child leaves home.
Somebody never had grandchildren.
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don’t need to tell her.
Somebody isn’t a mother.
This weekend, we celebrate Mother’s Day. We take this weekend out of the year to celebrate the women that gave us our lives. Our mothers have sacrificed so much for each and every one of us to be here. Some of our mothers are here today, others have passed from this life to the next.
But we all have one common mother who loves like Jesus: and this is Mary.
Mary is more than just the Mother of God, the Mother of Jesus: she is our mother. Jesus Christ gave her to us when he was on the cross. He said to his Beloved Disciple John, “Woman, behold your Son.” And to John: “Behold your mother!” What a beautiful gift!
Mary is the ever-present intercessor for her children. She loves us so much and wants to bring us to Jesus. Through her intercession, we can come to know Jesus Christ in a new way, through the eyes of a loving mother.
This year, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Fatima. At Fatima, Mary begs her children to pray. She begs her children to pray the rosary for the end of the war. This is understood to be the end of the First World War, but I think Mary is calling us to pray for the end of a new war: a war on God.
In our society, we see our church being attacked. We are living in a time that says no to God and yes to sin. Mary is calling us back to her and her son. She begs us to pray the rosary to end this war against God and His Will. And Mary feels this pain. She appeared to the visionaries of Fatima with thorns around her heart, telling them that these thorns pierce her deeply, causing her the pains that a mother feels for her child.
Pope Francis celebrated mass this morning in Fatima where he declared the visionaries saints. In his homily, he reminds all of us that we are Mary’s children. He asks us to place a new-found hope in Mary, allowing us to “cling to her like children. Concluding his homily, Pope Francis implored upon us to follow Mary:
With Mary’s protection, may we be for our world sentinels of the dawn, contemplating the true face of Jesus the Savior, resplendent at Easter. Thus may we rediscover the young and beautiful face of the Church, which shines forth when she is missionary, welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means and rich in love. (Pope Francis’ Fatima Homily)
Let us take time this weekend not only to celebrate our earthly mothers but also our heavenly mother who loves us without any prejudices or preconceptions, only to call us closer to her and her loving son.
Mary conceived without sin, Pray for us.
Fr. Andy Boyd is a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Erie, PA. Currently, Father Andy is assigned to Saint George Parish in Erie, PA.
Father Andy entered seminary after high school, graduating from Gannon University and Saint Mark Seminary in 2014. In the fall of 2014, Father Andy began his Major Seminary Studies at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe PA. Father Andy graduated from Saint Vincent Seminary with his Masters of Divinity in May 2018, and was ordained a priest in June 2018.
An avowed “Catholic Geek,” Fr. Andy spends his free time dabbling in media creation and network and server management.
Listen to Father Andy in his podcast Encounter Mercy.