From the Pastor – May 10, 2009

“Motherhood” is the first concept we understand as a child. Our earliest experience of love is the embrace of our own mother. And the love of our mother becomes the defining experience that helps us to understand God’s love for us. A Jewish proverb says that: “God could not be everywhere, and that’s why He created mothers.”

The safest and surest thing in the world is a mother’s love. It doesn’t have to be acquired or deserved. Even when it’s rejected, it still stays strong. The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.

And motherhood has the greatest potential influence on human society. Our mother’s embrace awakens our original sense of security. In her kisses, we first experience affection. In her empathy and sympathy we receive assurances that love exists. And these earliest memories stay with us for our entire life. They never go away. An old Irish proverb says: “A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” How true is that? Even if our mother is long deceased, the love never passes away from our heart.

When I was little and one of my sisters or my brother would get mad at my mother, she would say “Fine. If you don’t want me as your mother, then go to Dorignacs and get a new mother; they’re in the section right next to the vegetable aisle.” Nobody ever dared look in that area of the store. Nobody wanted a new mother.

This Sunday remember that “Mother’s Day” doesn’t have the apostrophe after the “s.” It’s not a day to honor “all mothers.” It’s a day for each of us to honor our own mother. If she’s alive, then go visit or call her. If she’s passed away, maybe you can bring flowers to her grave. Or say a prayer for her. And try not to forget her today. But if you do, then remember that the only mothers who are safe to forget on Mother’s Day are the good ones.

That being said, I am happy to honor all of the mothers of our parish this Sunday. Jesus said to His first priests: “Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” And sometimes I feel like I have those 100 mothers right here at Good Shepherd Parish! And I’m thankful for you. But I’m also thankful that I actually do have the best mother in the world. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! And just in case you wondered, a few years ago I checked out that aisle at Dorignacs. And I’m not trading you in. You’re the best Mom ever! I love you!

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty