Second Sunday after Easter—8 May A.D. 2011
[Ordinary of the Mass]
[English Text of Today's Mass]
[Latin Text of Today's Mass]
“I am the good
shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep.”
is Mothers' Day, so congratulations to all of you who are mothers.
(It is good to be able to say “all of you,” for there was
a time when our parish was so small that there was only one mother in
the congregation.) I want to make it clear that my
congratulations and my words this morning about motherhood are not
restricted to biological mothers, but certainly extend to adoptive
mothers, and to all those ladies, whether they be aunts, cousins, big
sisters, or even helpful neighbors, who have nurtured our children.
You may have noticed a second collect this morning, offered for all
of our deceased mothers and fathers, and my intention is to include
all of these other ladies as well.
will have their day next month, but today we celebrate the almost
undefinable qualities that good women bring to a family and to the
upbringing of good sons and daughters.
was nearly as late this year as it can ever be, so we don't often
hear today's Gospel on Mothers' Day. But it does help to give
us some insight into the Christ-like behavior that makes a woman a
good mother. It is, hopefully, rare that a mother has to give
up her life for her child, but it does happen. But even without
that extreme analogy to our Lord's death, it doesn't take much to
recognize that motherhood is a sacrificial vocation.
The good mother will always consider the needs of her
child before her own. The child will eat even if she is
hungry. He will have shoes and clothing even if she goes
barefoot. He will have the warm blanket to sleep at night.
He will have the education that she did not get, even if it means
giving up the luxuries of life. If he is threatened, she will
become a formidable protectoress. The history of motherhood is
filled with stories of women doing seemingly impossible things to
protect their children from harm. The good mother will have
quite a bit in common with the Good Shepherd. She will be self
sacrificing, but not overly indulgent.
good mother will also have quite a bit in common with the Blessed
Mother of the Good Shepherd. Her children will be brought up to
know and to love the Father in heaven, and to obey His Commandments
without question or hesitation. Her children will learn the
virtues of humility, of charity, and of chastity. To the girl
children modesty will be second nature. And her sons will know
that the girls and women around them are to be cherished and
protected; never to be taunted nor taken advantage of in any way.
All of her children will understand that they must be industrious but
content with their station in life—never mocking the poor or
the ignorant—never envying the rich or the famous—always
aware that all are God's children, equally loved.
his brief on the Holy Family, the saintly Pope Leo XIII wrote
that “mothers have an outstanding example of …
submission and perfect trust in the most holy Virgin, Mother of
The word “submission” when applied to a wife in the
modern world is probably politically incorrect—I guess
the same can be said for words like “humility” and
“chastity” and “modesty.” But that is
precisely why we, and particularly the mothers amongst us, must
routinely practice those virtues. What is politically
incorrect is disturbing only to
those who are trying to destroy Western civilization in general and
Christendom in particular. The family is the most basic
institution of society—and the mother is at the core of that
Fatima our Blessed Mother spoke of Russia, if not converted to the
true Faith, spreading her errors. As an economic system
Communism is a total failure—Soviet Russia endured famine after
famine and shortage after shortage—but only fools would say
that Communism is dead—the errors of Russia continue to spread,
as the Virgin Mary predicted they would. Uniting the “workers
of the world” in a “revolution of the proletariat”
was a Marxian pipe dream. But Patrick Buchanan described the
new Marxism, the cultural Marxism, envisioned by the theorist Antonio
Marxists in the West must
first change the culture; then power would fall into their laps like
ripened fruit. But to change the culture would require a "long
march through the institutions"—the arts, cinema, theater,
schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium, radio. One by
one, each had to be captured and converted and politicized into an
agency of revolution. Then the people could be slowly educated to
understand and even welcome the revolution.
Gramsci urged his fellow Marxists to form popular fronts with western
intellectuals who shared their contempt for Christianity and
bourgeois culture and who shaped the minds of the young.
Buchanan did not mention motherhood or the family in this “long march
through the institutions,” perhaps because the destruction of
the family is the end and not the means by which Cultural Marxism
works. By controlling the arts, the schools, the seminaries,
and the media, the Cultural Marxist has become capable of controlling
peoples' thoughts and opinions. The family can be destroyed by
changing the public perception so that the Christ-like and Mary-like
virtues I mentioned before would seem old fashioned, out dated, and
even odious and offensive.
women can be turned from self-sacrificing to self-gratifying the
family can be destroyed—and along with the family, all of
Now, the burden to resist this must be shared amongst all of us, not just
our womenfolk. We must all strive to be
Christ-like and Mary-like, even the men. And we must be
selective about what comes into our minds and into our homes.
Would Jesus and Mary approve of what we read, listen to, and watch on
television? Would they approve of what today passes for
Christianity or statesmanship? Would they approve of our
rampant self indulgence and the rush to acquire baubles and gadgets?
I appeal to all of you men and boys: You must hold all of the
women around you in respect. In spite of what you see in the
movies and on television, women are not toys to be played with, nor
petted, nor molested in any way. A real man knows that God gave
him strength, not to take advantage but to protect. They are all our
mothers and our sisters.
And all of you—be sure that today is celebrated as a day that truly
honors motherhood. If you are fortunate enough to have your Mom
among the living, go and see her, or at least spend some time with
her on the telephone. If your Mom is no longer with us,
remember her in this Mass, and in your prayers day-in and day-out.
And don't forget all of those ladies, mothers or not, who had a
formative influence on your lives.
the intercession of the most holy Mother of God, may He bless us all,
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Happy Mothers' Day!