True Motherhood: Weekly Message for 05-07-2019

Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, Pax Christi:

A common theme in dystopian dramas, from George Orwell’s haunting novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) to the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth (whose first installment came out in 2011), is the suspicion of motherhood.

Whether through eugenics technology or social engineering, many artists find themselves offering an imaginary view of our human future in which a mature secular society is pictured as a society that has minimized or eliminated authentic motherhood.

But when God unfolded his plan for the future, his plan of eternal salvation, he put motherhood right in the middle of it.  The Word of God became man through the generous “yes” of a virgin who was willing to become a mother. We simply cannot tell the story of Jesus without also telling the story of Mary, his mother.

And when the time came for the birth of the Church at Pentecost, there she was again, gathering her Son’s followers, keeping them together, showing them how to pray and receive the Holy Spirit.  Jesus even explicitly gave Mary to us as our mother in the order of grace right before he died on the Cross: “Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother’” (John 19:27).

Motherhood is woven deeply into the fabric of God’s plan for the human family – both his original plan and his redemption plan.  Something about motherhood reveals God to us in ways that nothing else can. The war on motherhood being continually waged by the culture of death and our society’s growing secularism is, also, a war on God himself.

These are the thoughts that come to mind as I look forward to celebrating Mother’s Day.  And I can’t help wondering if I have really discovered all the riches of this wondrous gift of our God.

Medieval artists chose for the symbol of the greatest of all virtues, divine charity, the image of a nursing mother.  For all you mothers out there, be affirmed this Mother’s Day that the pouring out of your lives for the good of your children is not in vain.  As thankless as it often feels, you are imaging God for all of us as you continue living your mission at the center of the mystery of what it means to be human, and what it means to be Christian.  Thank you. And may God continue blessing you all, and blessing all of us through you!

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Fr John Bartunek, LC

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