Putting mom in her place

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | May 3, 2016

On a pedestal, where she belongs

Every year in May, we celebrate the lives of our earthly mothers, as well as our Blessed Mother, Mary. One quality that binds our mothers to Jesus’ mother is a steadfast love for their own children. From the eyes of a child, this love and concern can sometimes seem overbearing.

One of my favorite Gospel passages involving our Blessed Mother is the story of Jesus in the temple. What 12-year-old child can’t relate to this narrative?

(Cartoon by Joe Heller | For The Compass)
(Cartoon by Joe Heller | For The Compass)

“Thinking that (Jesus) was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him” (Lk 20-44,45).

Mary’s words, as described in the Gospel of Luke, are familiar to many panic-stricken moms:

“Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”

Although our motives are certainly not in the same league as Jesus’ desire to be in his father’s house (as he explained to his mother when she found him conversing with the temple elders after being on the lam for three days), it still stings to be scolded after missing a curfew or wandering off at the mall. The sting comes from the disappointment in not living up to the expectations that our mothers have for us.

Moms not only look after us, they are the primary instructors of our faith. Before a child’s chubby little hands can wreak havoc on his surroundings, he is learning from mom to make a sign of the cross with them, or to clasp them together for bedtime prayer.

In an address April 26, Pope Francis reiterated the role of mothers in passing on the faith.

“The faith we have received is a gift that came to us, in many cases, from our mothers and grandmothers,” he said. “They were the living memory of Jesus Christ within our homes. It was in the silence of family life that most of us learned to pray, to love and to live the faith.”

The gift of faith, Pope Francis says, “comes to us through women — as Jesus came to us through Mary.”

We indeed have our mothers to thank for the gift of faith and we have Mary to thank for bearing and raising our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Those are more than enough reasons to set aside time this month to honor our mothers, as well as our Blessed Mother.

The second Sunday of May is a day Americans honor their mothers. We call it Mother’s Day. To all moms of every stripe (including grandmas, step moms, foster moms, godmothers, aunts, etc.), thanks for your example of devotion and love, and for being spiritual mentors.

During this month, let us also remember in a special way our Blessed Mother, whose example of motherhood continues to inspire countless women.

So let’s put our mom and Jesus’ mom in their place: on a pedestal, where they belong. A place where they can hear us sing their praises and thank them for being so overbearing.

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