As I Have Loved You Week 1 - Moms

(May 8, 2022)

Bottom line: Mothers exemplify the love we will be exploring in the coming weeks: "As I have loved you so you also should love one another."

Happy Mother's Day! Today we begin a homily series titled "As I Have Love You." This is taken from a verse we will hear next weekend, "As I have loved you so you also should love one another."

In our previous series we saw the essence of Jesus' love: He suffered, died and rose from the dead to bring us forgiveness.

To accept Jesus' forgiveness means that we forgive and care for others. After Jesus restores Peter, he says, "Tend my lambs...Feed my sheep." Similarly you and I receive responsibility for part of Jesus' flock. Parents receive children, ultimately from God. As your pastor, Jesus has given me responsibility to tend and nourish you with the Word and the Sacraments.

To be a shepherd demands constant attention. It requires patience and forgiveness because sheep by nature are troublesome. Still, to be a shepherd is one of the greatest satisfactions. For example, it's a huge joy to baptize children. The parents give thanks for their child and recognize that the child comes from God and returns to him through Jesus.

Today, Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me." In the reading from Revelation, John has a vision of a great multitude, "from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands." On Palm Sunday you received a branch that represents Jesus' victory. Some of you took that branch home and placed it behind a crucifix or sacred image.

It's interesting that the robes are made white by being washed in the Blood of the Lamb. In the Old Testament the priests would sprinkle the people with blood of an animal that had been sacrificed. That blood brought cleansing from sin. It had power because it pointed toward the Blood of Jesus. Jesus blood cleanses us. The Book of Revelation continues: "The Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

As a priest one of the most difficult tasks is to console parents who have lost a child. I generally do not have any words. Basically I stand with them in quiet prayer. Maybe I put my hand on the dad's shoulder or give a hug to the mom. Or offer a Kleenex. But the tears do not stop.

Our Knights of Columbus are working on a Memorial to Unborn Children. It will be a place where parents and family members can remember a lost child. The child may have died by miscarriage, abortion, disease or accident. They feel an ache that does not go away in this life. They shed tears only God can wipe away. We're going to hear more about this next week as we continue this series - As I Have Loved You. We will see that more specifically in the Annual Catholic Appeal that we take up during the month of May.

Today we honor our moms. For most of us they are the greatest example of love. They exemplify the love we will be exploring in the coming weeks: "As I have loved you so you also should love one another."


From Archives (Fourth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C):

2019: It's You, Aslan
2016: Second Priority
2013: Tend My Sheep
2010: One With The Father
2007: The Time of Great Distress
2004: The Father and I Are One
2001: Between Scylla and Charybdis
1998: The Lamb Will Shepherd Them

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru