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May 12, 2019: Fourth Sunday of Easter - Pastor’s Corner

Happy Mother’s Day!  Last week our Dominican Community had a study night concerning the topic of end of life issues. During the course of the discussion, I called to mind, the historic, heart-rending story of Karla Perez.  Twenty-two years old, Perez was pregnant with her second child, when we she collapsed at her Waterloo, Nebraska home from a catastrophic intracranial hemorrhage.  She was declared brain dead.  Karla’s baby was fine, but its gestational age was too young to consider delivery.  Knowing Karla would do anything for her child, the medical professionals kept her on life support for 54 days until her baby boy, Angel, was ready to leave the womb.  Last month, he was delivered through a C-section at just over 2 pounds, a happy and healthy bundle of joy.  In remarking about this historic moment, the vice president of the hospital said: “Our team took a giant leap of faith.  We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do.  Karla's loss of life was difficult, but the legacy she has left behind is remarkable.”  Reading this story gave fresh meaning Christ’s words to his disciples at the last Supper when he says: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:9-11)

Mothers give life. They nurture life. They devote their life to lives their children.  In recognition of their role as givers and sustainers of life, we honor all of our mothers both living and deceased.  As one of our children put it: “we love mom, because she is MOM!” On this weekend, when we celebrate Mother’s Day, we call to mind the prophet Isaiah who speaks of God’s love for us using maternal language: As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you (Is. 66:13).  The instinctual and potent bond that forms between mother and child shapes our understanding of God’s unconditional care for us, especially in times of need.  Just as our mother gives us life, so too, it is God’s love that creates and sustains us.  

Also, on this Mother’s Day weekend, we celebrate our youth confirmations. In receiving the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit, our confirmandi have been empowered to witness to the life of Christ within them.  This witness is furthered through the recognition of those who have lived heroic lives of witness.  For this reason, each of our youth was asked to choose a patron saint and to learn more about the life of this saint in order to share it with others.  Each of them constructed a “saint’s project” which included information, facts and the inspiration which led them to choose their particular saint.  For your edification, I invite you to peruse these projects which are on display in the Church this weekend.  As we celebrate the gift of life on Mother’s Day, we ask the Holy Spirit to renew each of us in the life of Christ, so that we might be witnesses to his love.                     

  ~ Fr Michael

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