Good morning and happy Mother’s day. I long for the day we can gather together as a family of believers and celebrate Mass. Until then please know that you are in my prayers and thoughts. I miss seeing you.
For this week’s homily I included the Today’s readings for your convenience. The homily focuses on the Gospel reading. St. John presents us with both Christological (who Jesus is) and eschatological (death, judgement, and heaven) elements in his narrative known as the Last Supper Discourses. As always there are so many layers to the scripture readings that it is impossible to cover even a few of them in one homily. Too be honest, I am in a state of continual learning. New insights may be discovered by the reader every time she/he reads Holy Scripture.
May God bless you and keep you. May we gather together soon.
MAY 10/11, 2020: HOMILY: MOTHER’S DAY:
5th Sunday of Easter
Today as sons and daughters we celebrate our mothers.
We honor our mothers who are with us and we lovingly remember those who are not.
Mothers nurture us in many ways, not the least of which is spiritually, much like Jesus cared for His disciples, Today’s Gospel reading takes place during John’s narrative of the Last Supper.
“We do not know” “How can we know” “Show us”
Jesus challenged the norms of society by washing the feet of the disciples. Jesus modeled service leadership to the disciples. He was the teacher acting as a servant to the pupils.
During the course of the evening; Jesus predicted Judas would betray Him, Peter would deny Him, and that He, Jesus, would go where they cannot follow. At this point, the disciples are confused, anxious, and probably more than a little fearful. I can remember one time in my life when I may have been as anxious as the disciples. It was the fall of my 2nd grade year when our parents told my brother and me that we would be moving. My dad rented the farm from an elderly couple who decided to sell it. At first, I was angry at the old couple for kicking us off “our land”. Dad corrected me; he told me he had been given the first opportunity to buy the farm, but he had declined because he thought the asking price was too high. I had no clue what land was worth, I was a kid. It was 1961, and $200 x160 acres was a fair amount of money.
“Heck dad, we should be able to swing $200 per acre. You can have what’s in my piggy bank.”
“Well, what ARE we going to do??? It’s only a couple of years (actually 10) before I graduate from Monroe High. I have roots here!!!”
Mom and dad told us; “We are going to move to a farm located east of Lynnville. You and your brother, Bruce, will attend school in Searsboro.”
“Where on God’s green earth is Lynnville and what’s a Searsboro???” It sounded like the edge of the world to a seven-year-old. “Can my dog, Tippy, come with us???”
As you can see, I survived. Turns out, the move improved my lot in life. Both the farm and the house were larger than our old place. There were two spring fed creeks and a small stand of woods for me to explore. One of the biggest improvements was forced heat to the upstairs,
unlike my previous bedroom which had gravity heat through a small register. It was easier to breathe without ten blankets on the bed. Our parents prepared Bruce and me for that move, so it was less traumatic.
In this 14th Chapter of John, known as the Last Supper discourses, Jesus prepares His disciples for the major changes in their lives which are on their horizon.
“Let not your hearts be troubled”
Jesus: The Son of God
“Have faith in me” “I am in the Father” “The Father is in Me”
The next day, Friday of the Passion of our Lord, the disciples will have their faith shaken to its very core and their hearts will suffer genuine sorrow.
My heart breaks for mothers who must go through Mother’s Day mourning children who stray, children who are not with us anymore or babies who never came to full term. Father Ronald Rolheiser refers to mourning our children as; “living with an unnatural wound”
May is the month of Mary.
It is no accident that we celebrate Mother’s Day during May. Mary walks with all mothers,
especially those mothers living with an “unnatural wound”. The Virgin Mary is the mother role model, par excellence. She fully understands both the joy and agony of being a mother.
Mary’s obedience to the Father and relationship with her Son, make her uniquely qualified to intercede for us; To keep us connected to Jesus. Through the Mystery of Christ’s invitation to share in the divine life of the Trinity. All mothers can keep their children connected to Christ; by their prayers and by their unconditional love.
“Ask, I will do it”
Today’s Gospel reading emphasizes that Jesus is the Son of God. Through Jesus loving and merciful service to others we; “See the Father.”
“There are many dwelling places” “I am going to prepare a place.”
John’s narrative of the Last Supper Discourse not only provides us with a high Christology of Jesus or the divinity of Jesus, it also has an eschatological element, a vision of our final destination. I’ve heard heaven described as gold streets lined with mansions. I am sure that this description is only an attempt to describe the glory of heaven. Here is the way I think of heaven.
My wife’s great aunt Margaret used to prepare a Thanksgiving feast every year. She did it all; appetizers, salads, breads, main courses, and desserts. Guests were not allowed to bring anything but their appetites. All were invited; aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, cousins three times removed. Well, you get the idea, a lot of people. Her house was no mansion. It was a typical story and a half three bedroom home built around 1900. The adults got to sit on the furniture and borrowed folding chairs while the kids sat wherever they could find space; stairs, bedrooms, floors. To borrow a cliché; it was wall to wall people. Heaven may have many dwelling places, but I picture it as a house like Aunt Margaret’s. A house filled with people who care about each other, sharing a banquet that is prepared for them, while giving thanks and praise to a Triune God.
Sounds a bit like Mass.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life”
During times of anxiety, confusion, and fear remember the promise Jesus, the Son of God, gave us: “I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also maybe.”