Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 14, 2017
By Father Thomas McCabe
The Easter Season is filled with God’s divine life as we acknowledge Jesus as the Source of all love and life – human and divine. We experience the outpouring of God’s divine life – sanctifying grace – through Holy Mother Church and her Sacraments bestowed upon her by Jesus. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is the distributor of these divine graces and calls us to cooperate with her to receive them.
Jesus said, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love…Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” JN 15:9-14
Mary followed Jesus perfectly and loved God above all things, and thus loves God appropriately within all things, especially his divine gifts, our family of faith, and our own family members. We strive to do the same.
Jesus perfectly lived God’s Fourth Commandment, “Honor your Father and your Mother,” by laying down his life for us on the cross at the bidding of his Heavenly Father, to win God’s sanctifying grace poured out to us through the power of the Holy Spirit within Holy Mother Church. Jesus also perfectly honored his mother, Mary, by crowning her Queen of Heaven and Earth, as it is revealed to us in the Bible, The Book of Revelation, chapter 12:1-17: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon…[that] stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth…a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.”
This refers to Mary, the Queen of heaven, and Jesus, God’s Son. Sacred Scripture then tells of a great spiritual battle between God’s angels, led by St. Michael, and Satan’s angels. God wins the battle, of course, and casts Satan upon the earth while he snatches his Son and Mary up to heaven. The Bible continues: “Then the dragon…went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” No wonder it can be very difficult to live the Catholic faith in the world, since God teaches us through the Bible that the Devil is at war with us – the children of Mary – who strive to live as Christian disciples.
During Mother’s Day, and really every day, let us honor our mothers by sharing with them God’s love. And during this month of May, Mary’s Month, let us honor her, the Queen of Vocations, in a special way by thanking her for the ten new priests! who will be ordained at the Cathedral of St. Paul for our Archdiocese, May 27, 10:00 a.m. If you plan to go, go early and prepare for a beautiful ceremony that lasts about 2 hours. Please go there at least in spirit by praying a Rosary for them and Holy Mother Church.
Happy Mother’s Day! Fr. Thomas McCabe