Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Double Celebration

For with God nothing is impossible.

Today is Pentecost Sunday, often referred to as the "birthday of the Church." This celebrates the day that the Spirit of God descended upon the Apostles and Christ's mother, Mary, giving them the strength, courage, and ability to communicate necessary to teach Our Lord's message.

It's also Mothers' Day in the U.S., which creates a harmonic intersection between two important occasions.

Without the brave consent to God's will of a young Jewish girl named Mary, there would have been no Church. The Blessed Mother, as many Catholics refer to her (I've never heard my mother refer to her as anything else), was a commanding presence not only through Our Lord's early years, but throughout the critical moments of his public life and death, as well as Pentecost.

It was Mary, after all, who prompted Our Lord into beginning his ministry, at the wedding at Cana. When she heard the bad news about the wine, Mary proceeded directly to Jesus and told him of the problem. "Woman, what wouldst thou have me do? My hour has not yet come."

Translated into modern-speak, that roughly boils down to "Ma, what do you want from my life? I'm not on duty yet."

Undeterred by his reluctance, Mary returns to the servants and instructs them to "Do whatever he tells you." She had faith that her son would listen to her--and sure enough, he did.

This is why so many Catholics cherish their devotion to the Mother of Our Lord. When we ask her aid in prayer, we know she will place our intentions before God. Based on Scripture, that method promises good results.

So Happy Mothers' Day, to my mother, to yours, to every mother reading, and also to our Blessed Mother on this birthday of the Christian Church, which her faith in God made possible.