Congratulations to our young people and adults of St. Peter’s and St. Charles who were confirmed this past Monday! Even though Bishop Callahan was unable to be with us, the Holy Spirit was there to fill these men and women with his gifts. Many thanks go to all who had a hand in helping us to prepare and celebrate so beautifully the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Congratulations also go to the young people of St. Peter’s who will be receiving their first Holy Communion this weekend. May your every reception of Jesus in Holy Communion be as special as this first time! Again, thanks to all who had a hand in helping these children prepare well for this sacrament, especially their moms and dads who worked with them at home and attended our Saturday sacramental preparation sessions.
Of course, today we also congratulate and thank Mom on this Mother’s Day weekend! The sacraments – especially baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist – are all about new life; the life we share in Jesus through his Spirit poured out upon us. It is from our natural mothers that we first receive the gift of life. And, it is from our mother, the Church, that we receive the gift of life in Christ. How appropriate that we honor our mothers in this Easter season – at the very time holy Mother Church is most fruitful through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and first communion!
Pope Francis has frequently made mention of this maternal dimension of the Church, emphasizing that just like our earthly mothers she seeks to care for and nurture her children. Just as our moms are always there for us, so Mother Church is there – especially at those times when we need comfort and consolation. Mothers are never disinterested persons with regard to their children. Always a mother is concerned for their wellbeing and happiness. So Pope Francis says the Church should be always concerned for everyone – especially her children who have maybe gotten lost along the way.
So today as we honor our mothers – living and deceased – may we not forget that the Church is our Mother too. She is the one who has given us birth in Christ; who bestows gifts of the Spirit upon us; and nourishes us with heavenly food and drink. She is the one who is there in the Sacrament of Penance to heal and console us when we have fallen. Thank you to all those women who reveal to us the face of Mother Church, and in so doing, also reveal the maternal compassion of God for us.