Third Sunday of Easter A
May 8, 2011 HCSM
The Rev. Leonard Oakes
I see beautiful people with their motherly smiles today!
Happy mother’s day to all of you! Let us give a round of applause to all mothers, be it biological, adoptive, surrogate and all others who took such role.
Kindly greet those mothers next to you and say Thank you!! This world indeed is a better place because of mothers like you. This is a day of special thanksgiving to God for the love and care of mothers.
There is great joy that comes with being a mother, having a family, raising children. Those are all things God finds joy in. Motherhood is the greatest challenge to every mother. It involves lot of sacrifices and sleepless night. But in spite of all those sacrifices come love and joy. Before a mother leaves for work, or when a mother takes you to school, she always reassures us that everything will be alright. She prepares all our needs, our food, our books, making sure we are done with our homework; giving us comfort and making us feel at peace in the world around us even when she will only be away for a while. When dad said I don’t have money, a child certainly knows who to approach, mom. When dad says NO, mom says it’s alright dear. A mother could be over protective just because she doesn’t want anything bad to happen to her child.
I remember in grade school, my mom would always remind me to wear socks that have no holes in them for a reason that if I meet accident and my shoes comes off, I won’t be embarrassed. She forgot to tell me to wear my belt. I had an accident of my pants falling down and I was so embarrassed. I missed her so I called her late last night and reminded her that the bridge from san Francisco to Manila is still being built. That’s because she told me one time, “If there’s only a bus that takes me from San Francisco to manila, I could have taken it.” The next month, I booked her flight to the Philippines. That’s where her heart is. She told me to greet you all with her motherly love.
What do you recall of your mother? Is your mother a perfectionist mother whose family must look perfect in every way? Or is it an unpredictable mother whose ups and downs can create lifelong anxiety and depression in her son or daughter? Is it a “Me first” mother whose children come second or last? Is it the “Best friend” mother who’s now in fashion but can wreak mess? Or is it a complete mother who provides guidance and shows compassion to her child? Or is it a naggy naggy mother who checks on you every minute if you’re alright. However mother you can be, we recognize that what you have gone through and are going through is quite a huge sacrifice. So I say to you mothers, whatever challenge and hardships you’re going through, please listen to what our Lord had to say “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Trust in God, trust also in me.” Believe that triumph will prevail in the end.
You know, Jesus was raised by a single parent and it wasn’t a man. Jesus was raised year after year in his tiny village by a woman named Mary who was his mother. Jesus watched her and learned what it is to be a faithful person. Jesus went to sleep at night with her stories still in his ears. Jesus watched her pray. Jesus watched how she treated other people. Jesus learned his ethical behavior from her, she was his example. She was his mentor. She was the love of his life. It was through his mother that he learned how to be compassionate. She is the mother that I hail along this day. She is what she is, a woman, poor, growing up with a child, with children to rise on her own in a difficult and dangerous world and yet a woman with deep and abiding faith who would share that faith come what may. That’s the mother I like. That’s the mother I revere, that’s the mother that I know, that is the kind of mother who said, “Those who are downtrodden will be lifted up, those who were neglected and were forgotten and abused will one day find their salvation.” Who was Mary speaking to? Is there a woman in this room who does not hear the sound of her voice? I need a Mary who raised Jesus, who gave him the courage to be whom he became and stayed with him all the way to the foot of the cross and watched her child die for the sake of the same faith which she shared with him and in him. That’s the Mary that I revere today and that’s the Mary that rings to my ears when I hear the story of all mothers. Hail Mary full of grace, hail Mary, all of the Mary of our world, hail to all those women who on this very day, from Peru, Philippines, Fiji, England, San Francisco, Daly City, need to be heard, honored and revered for the courage that they live with each day of their lives. Hail to the women who have been broken and abused, hail to the moms who take care to their children, hail to every woman who is a working woman, who goes back and does it again day after day. Hail to the female elders, the grandmothers to whom our children grew with while we are at work. Hail to every woman like Mary who has the faith of her convictions, who stands for justice and truth and to love children and to teach men what it means to have compassion and courage. Hail to the women of all our lives who are our teachers. Hail to all the women who are broken and battered on this day and in need to being remembered on this day, we revere the presence and dignity of womanhood, for in it resides the spirit of our salvation.
I call upon us all to honor these parents who stood for us in sickness and in health, in richer and poorer even until death. Let not their love and compassion be forgotten just because they can no longer do the same things they have been giving you due to physical incapacity or old age. Let not our love to them ever fades or our patience shorten because they wet the bed or they can’t give you the money you needed. When you need independence and wanting to live your own life, don’t forget to call them and say hello. They missed you terribly but you’re so busy with your family and life.
The Gospel read this morning tells us about the failure of the disciples to recognize the presence of Jesus Christ in their midst. Jesus appeared to them on their way to Emmaus. Their failure to believe the women who witnessed the empty tomb “some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive.” Their failure to recognize the presence of Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
My dear brothers and sisters, look no further, don’t lose your hope, don’t stay in darkness or in locked rooms. Jesus is alive, he is in our midst today, he is the lives of everyone of us, he is in the hearts of every mother who is yearning for your love and joy. That same love and joy you had when you were a child. Let us not fail to recognize their presence, their needs and their longing.
Two grandmothers were talking the other day, one of them said “how terrible to live in a four walled room with just a TV and a bed.” The other replied, “I know, I was watching the LA Lakers slowly fade. They lost 3 in a row.” Then suddenly a woman at the living room shouted, “Hurray, the Giants won, the Giants won.” Last night, several women cheered, “Go Pacquiao knock Mosley down.”
And so in moments like this, we need to comfort and assure one another. Your neighbor seem to be troubled, not smiling, will you smile at them and say, “Don’t worry, be happy, God loves you. To all mothers, Happy mother’s day.