Monsignor Yennock's Mother's Day Homily May 8, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

MOTHERS’ DAY May 8, 2016

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

WHENEVER YOU SEE A MAN KNEEL DOWN TO PRAY; WHENEVER YOU SEE A  MAN DO SOME KIND DEED, OR SAY SOME KIND WORD—WHENEVER YOU SEE A MAN ATTEMPT SOME GREAT OBJECTIVE OR ACCOMPLISH SOME NOTEWORTHY ACHIEVEMENT, YOU RECOGNIZE A MOTHER’S INFLUENCE.

WHENEVER YOU SEE A VIRTUOUS, THOUGHTFUL, CULTURED SUCCESSFUL WOMAN, YOU KNOW THAT SOME THOUGHTFUL CULTURED, VIRTUOUS, SUCCESSFUL MOTHER LEFT HER MARK.

TODAY, MOTHERS ARE CEO’S AND TEACHERS, PHYSICIANS AND NURSES, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND POLICE OFFICERS, AND VOLUNTEERS, HOMEMAKERS AND HEADS OF HOUSEHOLDS. MANY SERVE ON THE FRONT LINES IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST VIOLENCE AND POVERTY.

THESE WOMEN—PROBLEM SOLVERS, CAREGIVERS, AND TEACHEERS ARE USING THEIR TALENTS IN EVERY SECTOR OF OUR SOCIETY. BUT ABOVE ALL THESE, THEIR PRIME VOCATION IS MOTHERHOOD.

A WOMAN IS MOST LIKE GOD THE CREATOR WHEN SHE GIVES LIFE. SHE IS LIFE-GIVING WHEN SHE IS AFFIRMING AND SUPPORTING HER CHILDREN. WHEN THE WORLD PUTS YOU DOWN—WHEN MEN DESPISE YOU—WHEN YOU ARE LEFT BY THE ROADSIDE TO DIE UNNOTICED AND UNWEPT, THE MOTHER COMES ALONG, GATHERS YOU UP IN HER ARMS AND CARRIES YOU HOME.

SHE TELLS OF YOUR VIRTUES AND MAKES YOU FORGET THAT YOU HAVE SOILED YOUR SOUL WITH SIN.

JESUS’ LAW OF LOVE BROUGHT A DEEPER LEVEL OF CIVILIZATION TO THE WORLD.

A LOVING MOTHER BRINGS A DEEPEER LEVEL OF CIVILIZATION TO THE WORLD OF HER OWN HOME. IT IS THE MISSION OF MOTHERS TO TRANSFORM UNCIVILIZED BOYS AND GIRLS INTO CIVILIZED MEN AND WOMEN. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HER CONSTANT COMPANION.

THE FINGERPRINTS OF A MOTHER’S FAITH ARE SEEN ON EVERY CHILD. THE SEAL OF HER LOVE IS IN EVERY HEART. IN THE DAYS OF SUNSHINE AND SHADOW, SHE IS TO BE FOUND STRUGGLING SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE GOOD FATHER AIDING, ENCOURAGING AND SUSTAINING HER CHILD.

IN HONOR OF MOTHERS’ DAY I WOULD LIKE TO READ A STORY THAT SPEAKS OF A MOTHER’S VOCATON MORE ELOQUENTLY THAN I COULD EVER DO:

"‘IS THIS THE LONG WAY?’ ASKED THE YOUNG MOTHER AS SHE SET HER FOOT ON THE PATH OF LIFE. AND THE GUIDE SAID:

‘YES, AND THE WAY IS HARD, AND YOU WILL BE OLD BEFORE YOU REACH THE END OF IT. BUT THE END WILL BE BETTER THAN THE BEGINNING.’

“THE YOUNG MOTHER WAS HAPPY, AND SHE WOULD NOT BELIEVE THAT ANYTHING COULD BE BETTER THAN THESE YEARS. SO SHE PLAYED WITH HER CHILDREN, SHE FED THEM AND BATHED THEM, TAUGHT THEM HOW TO TIE THEIR SHOES AND RIDE A BIKE, AND REMINDED THEM TO FEED THE DOG AND DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND BRUSH THEIR TEETH. THE SUN SHONE ON THEM AND THE YOUNG MOTHER CRIED,

“‘NOTHING WILL EVER BE LOVELIER THAN THIS.’

“THEN THE NIGHTS CAME, AND THE STORMS, AND THE PATH WAS SOMETIMES DARK, AND THE CHILDREN SHOOK WITH FEAR AND COLD, AND THE MOTHER DREW THEM CLOSE AND COVERED THEM WITH HER ARMS. THE CHILDREN SAID,

"MOTHER, WE ARE NOT AFRAID, FOR YOU ARE NEAR, AND NO HARM CAN COME."

“AND THE MORNING CAME, AND THERE WAS A HILL AHEAD, AND THE CHILDREN CLIMBED AND GREW WEARY, AND THE MOTHER WAS WEARY. BUT AT ALL TIMES SHE SAID TO HER CHILDREN:

"’CHILDREN, A LITTLE PATIENCE AND WE ARE THERE.’

“SO THE CHILDREN CLIMBED AND AS THEY CLIMBED THEY LEARNED TO WEATHER THE STORMS. AND WITH THIS, SHE GAVE THEM STRENGTH TO FACE THE WORLD. YEAR AFTER YEAR SHE SHOWED THEM COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING, HOPE, BUT MOST OF ALL UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. AND WHEN THEY REACHED THE TOP THEY SAID:

"’MOTHER, WE COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU.’

“THE DAYS WENT ON, AND THE WEEKS AND THE MONTHS AND THE YEARS. THE MOTHER GREW OLD AND SHE BECAME LITTLE AND BENT. BUT HER CHILDREN WERE TALL AND STRONG, AND WALKED WITH COURAGE. AND THE MOTHER, WHEN SHE LAY DOWN AT NIGHT, LOOKED UP AT THE STARS AND SAID:

"’THIS IS A BETTER DAY THAN THE LAST, FOR MY CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH AND ARE NOW PASSING THESE TRAITS ON TO THEIR CHILDREN.’

“AND WHEN THE WAY BECAME ROUGH FOR HER, THEY LIFTED HER, AND GAVE HER STRENGTH, JUST AS SHE HAD GIVEN THEM HER STRENGTH.

“ONE DAY THEY CAME TO A HILL, AND BEYOND THE HILL THEY COULD SEE A SHINING ROAD AND GOLDEN GATES FLUNG WIDE. AND MOTHER SAID:

"’I HAVE REACHED THE END OF MY JOURNEY. AND NOW I KNOW THE END IS BETTER THAN THE BEGINNING, FOR MY CHILDREN CAN WALK WITH DIGNITY AND PRIDE, WITH THEIR HEADS HELD HIGH, AND SO CAN THEIR CHILDREN AFTER THEM.’ AND THE CHILDREN SAID:

"’YOU WILL ALWAYS WALK WITH US, MOTHER, EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH THE GATES.

“AND THEY STOOD AND WATCHED HER AS SHE WENT ON ALONE, AND THE GATES CLOSED AFTER HER. AND THEY SAID,

"’WE CANNOT SEE HER, BUT SHE IS WITH US STILL.’

“A MOTHER IS MORE THAN A MEMORY. SHE IS A LIVING PRESENCE. YOUR MOTHER IS ALWAYS WITH YOU. SHE'S THE WHISPER OF THE LEAVES AS YOU WALK DOWN THE STREET, SHE'S THE SMELL OF CERTAIN FOODS YOU REMEMBER, FLOWERS YOU PICK AND PERFUME THAT SHE WORE. SHE'S THE COOL HAND ON YOUR BROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT FEELING WELL, SHE'S YOUR BREATH IN THE AIR ON A COLD WINTERS DAY.

“SHE IS THE SOUND OF THE RAIN THAT LULLS YOU TO SLEEP; THE COLORS OF A RAINBOW. SHE IS YOUR BIRTHDAY MORNING. YOUR MOTHER LIVES INSIDE YOUR LAUGHTER. AND SHE'S CRYSTALLIZED IN EVERY TEAR DROP.

“A MOTHER SHOWS THROUGH IN EVERY EMOTION - HAPPINESS, SADNESS, FEAR, JEALOUSY, LOVE, HATE, ANGER, HELPLESSNESS, EXCITEMENT, JOY, SORROW - AND ALL THE WHILE HOPING AND PRAYING YOU WILL ONLY KNOW THE GOOD FEELINGS IN LIFE.

“SHE'S THE PLACE YOU CAME FROM, YOUR FIRST HOME, AND SHE'S THE MAP YOU FOLLOW WITH EVERY STEP YOU TAKE. SHE'S YOUR FIRST LOVE, YOUR FIRST FRIEND, EVEN YOUR FIRST ENEMY, BUT NOTHING ON EARTH CAN SEPARATE YOU.

“NOT TIME, NOT SPACE - NOT EVEN DEATH!”

FOR EVERY SON AND DAUGHTER WHO CRUCIFIY THEMSELVES ON PILLARS OF HATE, WEAKNESS AND GREED, THERE AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS YOU WILL FIND THE MOTHER, YOUR MOTHER AND MINE. GOD BLESS THEM. THEY HAVE KNOWN SO MUCH PAIN.

(The story is taken from Good Housekeeping Magazine in 1933 by Temple Bailey)