Put Out into the Deep

The Unique Role of Mother

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

“Love is Our Mission, the Family fully alive” is the title of the preparatory document for Catechesis for the World Meeting of Families, to be held this September in Philadelphia.

The section on the “Family Creating the Future” might be important for us to consider as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“Marriage is meant to be fertile and to welcome new life. Children shape the future, just as they themselves are shaped in their families. Without children, there can be no future. Children reared with love and guidance are the foundation for a loving future. Wounded children portend a wounded future. Families are the bedrock of all larger communities. Families are domestic churches, places where parents help children discover that God loves them and has a plan for each child’s life.”

This statement preparing us for the Synod on the Family reminds us of many things. Marriage is meant to be fertile; it is the hope for every Christian family that they bring new life into the world, so that children can be added to God’s family in the Church. In a special way, the role of mothers giving birth to children is critical to the addition of new members to God’s family. Love of husband and wife creates an atmosphere where children can understand the meaning of love and may be guided to be loving individuals, ready to give back to the world the goodness which they have received in their family.

The World Meeting of Families will be an opportunity for those who attend and for those who will view it from afar on television to recognize the responsibility the Church has to support families. Saint John Paul II once said, “The Church will go by the way of the family.” This means that as families thrive, or disintegrate, so will go the life of the Church because we depend so much on families. It is not without reason that the family is called the domestic church, the place where life and faith are transmitted. How important the upcoming Synod on the Family and the World Meeting of the Family will be to enlighten and enliven our understanding of the importance of family life.

As we come to celebrate Mother’s Day, we recognize the unique position of mothers as guardians of family life and transmitters of human life. Nothing can substitute for the love of a mother in a family for individual children. Mothers today face many challenges, mostly because of the multiple roles that they play in society and in the family. Many are forced to work or prefer to pursue careers outside of the home, making the rearing of children a difficult task. Women are great at multi-tasking, however, and seem to be able to balance the many responsibilities that are theirs. Mother’s Day gives us all an opportunity to recognize their unique role of women as mothers in our society and in our church. This civic celebration allows us to concentrate on the spiritual motherhood of every woman who nurtures children or, if not her own, still brings a maternal affection to those whom they assist.

As we approach this Mother’s Day, let us put out into the deep recesses of our memories to thank our mothers whether they be with us or have already gone to God. The more we understand and appreciate the role of women as mothers, the more we will consequently see our Church as mother and nurturer to us all. Let us join in prayer for all mothers.

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