Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mothers: Heroes for Christ

1. New shepherd!! As you've probably heard, we have a new Archbishop of Washington, Bishop Donald Wuerl from Pittsburgh. He will be installed as Archbishop in June; Cardinal McCarrick will still ordain the twelve of us as priests next Saturday (5/27), and will continue to live in Washington. Thank you, your Eminence, for your fatherly care, heroic service, and heartfelt love! Welcome, Bishop Wuerl!

2. DC 'Hood game: this Friday, May 19, 7 pm, Watkins Mill HS, versus St John Neumann parish. Come and root on us priests and seminarians!!
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This past Sunday, we honored all mothers, grandmothers, and godmothers for Mother's Day. As I said in my homily, all mothers who live out their vocation are heroes! They are heroes for Jesus Christ, for life, and for love. As Msgr. Ralph said in his comments at the end of Mass, we know we are loved by our mothers; this helps us to know we are loved by God.

Jesus says in Sunday's Gospel that he is the true vine, and we are the branches, and that only in him can we bear fruit. Apart from him we can do nothing! When we think about what it means to bear fruit, then, we know that it is only in Christ that we can do good in our lives. But, if it weren't for our mothers, we wouldn't be here at all! We wouldn't be on the vine of Christ. So, any fruit that we bear is in Christ through our mothers. We are the fruit of our mothers' wombs.

We look at the Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. The fruit of her womb is her Son, Jesus Christ. We say in the 'Hail Mary', "blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus". Mary shares in the fruit of Jesus' life which is Salvation, the greatest fruit the world has ever seen. We look at his Death and Resurrection, which is our Redemption; Mary shares in that. Our Redemption, then, is the fruit of her life, the fruit of her love. The Church gives Mary the title of "Co-Redeemer"; she shares in the fruit of her son's life.

My mother will share in whatever fruit I will bear in my life as a priest. Whatever good any of us does in our lives, it is through our mothers. It is fitting that they share in our fruit because of all the sacrifices they ahve made for us: at least nine months of physical sacrifices, and all that it takes to nurture, mold, and shape us to be the persons we are today. Our mothers are the primary formators on Earth of our personalities and characters.

We thank God for our mothers, grandmothers, and godmothers. If they are no longer with us, we pray for them and thank them for their heroic lives. We thank all mothers for their lives, and for giving us our lives. It is through them that we are on the vine of Christ, and bearing fruit in Him. Mothers bear the most and greatest fruit on His vine because all fruit is through them. They are true heroes for Christ, life, and love.

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