Posted 13 May 2012 Posted by Father John Francis Murray, C.Ss.R.
Tags: may, catholic, sacred heart, mary, catholic
May is here, what a beautiful month! On this second Sunday of May, like every year, we celebrate motherhood. On this day, during the month of May as trees and flowers spring forth new life, we pause to pray not only for our mothers who gave us life but for all mothers. We also pray for all expectant mothers.
During the month of May we also honor Mary in a special way. It is fitting that we honor Mary for an entire month. It is so appropriate that the month of ‘new life’ be dedicated to Mary. We remember as a young Jewish girl Mary responded to the angel in faith, “May it be done to me according to your word.” And Mary gave birth to the Son of God and they called him Jesus. During this Easter season we’re celebrating what was begun with Mary’s “Yes!” Before the resurrection and the cross, before the miracles and the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth, Mary said “Yes!”
Mother’s day often conjures up childhood memories. I remember when I was quite young I had a nightmare that my mom had died. Finally, after many days I got up enough courage and went and shared my dream with my mom. She said to me, “Johnny, I’m not going to die, I’m not going to leave you!” Immediately I was at peace. Fortunately, most of us have been blessed with caring and protective mothers. Most of us can say about our mothers, “My mother was always there for me!”
Our experiences of motherhood give us a glimpse into the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary. Mary is ‘always’ there for us, to care for us and protect us. One of the reasons I was attracted to the Redemptorist community was because of Mary Our Mother of Perpetual Help. When I first looked at the O.L.P.H. painting it reminded me of the experience with my mother when I was a child, “Johnny, I’m not going to die, I’m not going to leave you.” In the same picture Jesus had a nightmare, his suffering and death on the cross. The child Jesus ran to his mother and leaped into her arms. The most interesting point of the painting, as Mary is holding Jesus in her arms her eyes are gazing outward rather than at Jesus. Mary seems to be saying to us, “Come to me like Jesus my son, I will care for you, I will protect you, I will never leave you, I am your Mother!”
On this day, as we remember our mothers and as we honor our Blessed Mother I would like to give each parishioner a gift as you leave church, a large prayer card with the image of Mary Immaculate on one side and the Prayer for Religious Liberty on the reverse side.
Please pray the prayer on a regular basis, and if possible, make it a family prayer. I have shared with you often my deep concern regarding the passage of the HHS mandate. The U.S. bishops are also quite concerned if this bill becomes law. They are asking Catholics throughout the U.S. to pray the Prayer for Religious Liberty through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, the Patroness of Our Country. As Catholics and as Americans we need to pray that our religious liberties be protected.
Like Mary our Mother, let’s be strong in our faith, and let’s continue to pray! Happy Mother’s day, and may Mary Immaculate the Patroness of Our Country protect you, your family members, and our country always.
In Christ our Redeemer
Father John Francis Murray, C.Ss.R.