Thank God for mothers

In our Mother’s eyes

I see beautiful mothers and ladies today!! Happy Mother’s day!!  Thank God for mothers like you. You are the best gift God has ever made. Adam wouldn’t have made it through without you. God knows best what the world needs. Behind every good leader is a great mother.

I know you spent much time in front of your mirror today just so you would look good in the face of God and your family here at HCSM. But let me be the first to tell you that you are beautiful inside and out and because of your love for your family and all, we thank you.

Three men were asked the question, “What is it in a woman that you look for?” The first said, “Well, I look at the beauty of the face.” The other said, “I look at the body shape” But the third man said, “I look at my wife first if she is looking.”

In today’s Gospel Jesus says, “As the Father has loved me so I have loved you” (John 15:9) and he says “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) Here Jesus is talking of a very special kind of love, love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. To make sure we would not confuse this very special type of love with other types of love, which often are more lust than love, the writers of the New Testament used a very special word to describe the love of Jesus for us and the love of God for us. They said Jesus loved us with agape love. That is love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other.

We are all products of this love.

A young girl came home sobbing one day. Her mom was cooking their favorite dinner while her dad was watching the news. Mom immediately noticed her sobbing; she rushed to her and gently hugged her and whispered, “What’s the matter baby?”

“Benedict said I’m a product of habit.” She replied.

“I don’t understand?” said the mom.

“He said our older brother Marvin was a product of curiosity because you and dad were curious about how to make a baby. He said he was a product of love because you became PRO in making a baby. But he said I am a product of habit and so is my little brothers and sister. Since you are pro, it became a habit for you to make babies.” Then she cried more and louder.

Her mom replied, “You are all products of love dear. God gave you to us as a wonderful gift and we will take care and love you so that you will also do the same when you have your own family.”

The father who was sitting at the corner heard all this conversation, lowered his glasses and giggled, “Hi hi hi.”

We are all products of Love. Thanks to all mothers who understand us. Mothers are always there for us in sickness and in health. When we need something, we don’t always go to dad because he refers us to mom anyway. “Dad, I need money for my project.” Dad would say, “Ask mom.” I wonder why my kids don’t come to me for asking. They knew I will say, “Ask mom.”

Mother knows best. In our mother’s eyes, we are the best gift God ever gave. She’s always there when needed. She loves us no matter what. She would sacrifice everything: our food, shelter, clothing, school.

At the age of 5, I remember my mom carrying me on her back crossing a knee high flooded street from home to her mini store at a nearby elementary school. She was the most popular woman in our town. I watched her make great friendship with every customer she had. Her understanding and good connection with all the teachers and school personnel made her loved by all. When it is not busy at store, she would show me her varicose veins on both of her calves and say, “See the sacrifices that I have to go through just so your brothers and sister would go to school and that we have food to eat?”

That story still lingers in my heart. Of course I would ask her later in life if the reason why I have these varicose veins in my calves is because I made similar sacrifices or would that be the inheritance I got from her?

I learned all my good traits from my mother. The not so good ones, I confess, I did it my way.

I remember in high school when I slept at a friend’s house without telling my parents. They got so worried that they spent the whole night searching for me. That following morning, I went home and saw my dad with a 2×2 wood and whacked my behind. The first person I ran to was my mom. Mom would defend me from the doom of that 2×2 wood and my angry dad. “Usto daytan, bay-am ta kasauk isuna” “That’s alright dad, let me talk to our son,” She would tell my dad. She then hugged me and said, “We love you. We don’t want anything bad to happen to you.” She would also try to explain why sometimes we had to be whacked, to remind us of our wrong doings. That incident always reminds me of the importance of connection and the sense of belongingness, but most of all, of an understanding mother.

All of the mothers here have your own story in raising children and keeping a family. Life in America and the rest of the first world countries is different from the rest of the world. Here in America, it is very imperative to plan for everything: Number of kids to raise is sometimes limited to two or three. It is hard to raise kids when both of parents are working and you don’t have an extended relative to help you when you’re not home. Haidee and I had to work different hours just so one of us will stay home with our first child Joshua. We only see each other on weekends on our days off from work.  We were fortunate to have our mom Hilaria, who would be there to fill our absence. In the Philippines, close family ties and the availability of a family member is present. Here in America, some of our mothers have to work two jobs to keep them a shelter and a food to eat. You have to have a car if you live in a place where there’s no bus or Bart to take you to work on time. At the end of the month, there’s nothing left in your bank because it is just enough to pay all the expenses according to your budget. Sometimes our children don’t get that. They don’t understand their parent’s sacrifices until they are in that same kind of situation.

My dear mothers in God, as I always tell you, I may not fully know what you are going through in your life, but let me tell you that I will walk that way with you if you will let me. I will keep you company in prayer until we both see what life has in wait for us. And as we walk I will remind you that we have many twists and turns in life that are common. We’ve been through this many times and in many changes. We’ve learned our lessons and we have the wisdom to think it through, the courage to do what must be done, the faith to know that there is love at the end of our rope. We may not know what is yet to happen, but we do know that we are not alone. We can walk together. We can walk with God by our side.

Let me say these again to all mothers, grandmothers and those who take the role of a mother, thank you!! We love you and will care for you just as you cared for us.

Let me read you a wonderful song sung by Celine Dion: “Because you loved me” While listening to this song, I ask you to remember your mother or grandmother, passed or still alive. Keep the loving memory in your hearts.

For all those times you stood by me. For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life. For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true. For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful mother. You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall. You’re the one who saw me through, through it all
You were my strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see. You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. You gave me faith ‘coz you believed
I’m everything I am because you loved me
You gave me wings and made me fly. You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me. You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall. I had your love I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me. Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true, I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me
A light in the dark shining your love into my life. You’ve been my inspiration
Through the lies you were the truth. My world is a better place because of you

Amen.

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