Dear People of God,

 

I hope and pray that all is well with you and your loved ones as we continue to experience the new life of the Resurrection!

As we travel the road of life, God often shows us His face in the face of others. Recognizing this is a path to Sainthood that inspired Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Vincent de Paul and countless others. It also inspires folks in our own day and age. In turn, their example radiates God’s love and teaches us about the faith more deeply.

I remember one such experience of seeing God’s face. I had just been transferred to a new parish and was getting to know the folks. One of the members of one of their ministries was a stay at home Mom. At one parish gathering she brought her then five-year-old daughter with her.

After giving a wonderful presentation that reflected her doctorate and years of experience as an executive in the health care industry, she was mingling with the other parishioners. When one person noticed that the little girl had special needs, they commented that it was a shame that such promising career was ended.

The Mom, smiled gracefully, and told them that the little girl was an answer to her and her husband’s prayers. For years they had asked God for a child. They had wanted to be parents more than anything else in the world. And they were so grateful that God ensured that they would always be parents by giving them this special gift!

 

While the little girl had already brightened the room by her divine innocence, this light was paled by the radiance of the face of God in her mother! Only love beamed forth. It was that depth of love that made any challenges or difficulties seem insignificant. This is true, not just for her, but for all Mothers. This is a powerful example of God’s own Divine love for us all. His face can be seen in the eyes of every Mom.

Certainly, as we travel Pandemic Road, our celebration of Mother’s Day will be different this year. Many intergenerational gatherings will not be possible.

 

Some Moms will feel lonely. Others might wish they were. Regardless of where we quarantine, all will remember the selfless gifts of love that are almost instinctual in Motherhood.

A loving Mom thinks of others first and herself last. This is following the example of God Himself. It is what Jesus called his disciples to live. So, it is appropriate that today we reflect on how we are to do this.

One very important way for us to live the Gospel call to think of others instead of ourselves is to wear a mask in public. Covering our nose and mouth with a mask, scarf or bandana protects others from our droplets. It is a sign of our care and concern for others. In this light, a mask is a sign of our faith as we re-enter the world. Further, is it Divine irony or Divine wisdom that everyone is mandated to wear a face covering? Either way, we are constantly reminded of our Gospel call!

As always, we have the choice to ignore this advice of the CDC and our Federal Government. We can disobey the requirements of our Governor. Some will even protest on the grounds of civil liberties. All will be tempted with excuses!

Soon we will show the world either we are truly thinking of others…or ourselves. It is just that simple! So, be creative as we display our living the Gospel call. To be honest, I’m enjoying wearing my old bulldog Tank’s bandanas and fulfilling an old childhood fantasy of being a cowboy.

May God continue to bless us in the new life of Easter!  

Fraternally,

Rev. James D. Hreha                                                                                                                              

Pastor