Monday, December 8, 2014

Mom & Mary

Mom & Mary 

 Why the title of the blog today, “Mom and Mary”?  Today is both my Mother’s Birthday and the day we honor Mary’s Immaculate Conception. My Mother would have been 65 today and as you can imagine it is a hard day in some ways and in other ways a blessing. As I look back over my life, my life has been and is filled with so many blessing because of both Mothers in my life. My Mom who was and still remains a great blessing in my life and My Spiritual Mom, Mary, who has been a blessing for my spiritual life. 

    Today was not as bad as other years. It is not because I miss my mom less or have adjusted to it but because there was a twist to the start of my day. You see, normally, I go to bed the night before upset, missing her and in pain, then wake up with the same feelings all day and really dreading the hours till the day ends. This year, a local parish had a Midnight Mass for the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception. It was perfect. I started my Mother’s Birthday in Church where Heaven and Earth meet at the Eucharist Celebration. It was like being with my mom on her birthday day right from the start. In a way I was not able to miss her at the start of the day because she was there waiting for me and I was able to wish her a Happy Birthday. Both My Mom and my Spiritual Mom Mary were together in one place at the same time. Normally Mary is so far on this day for me because I face the sadness of the day only. Call me crazy but I feel like my Mom was standing by Mary and Mary has Her hand on my mother’s shoulder smiling at her as my mom was looking down at me, smiling and was at peace.  Last night was a blessing beyond anything I can say. 

     Both of these women have played major roles in my life and my mother will always play and be a major part of my life. My mom was the source of strength, courage, and love. I will always remember the lessons she taught me and base my decisions on those lessons. My mom is forever alive in my heart and God willing one day when my eyes close forever here on earth and open again in the next life, I will see my mom again. She will no longer be in pain or suffer but be in her glorious splendor and I hope and pray reaching out for me and welcome me back in her arms just as she did when I was born. Then I hope to hear her say “You did good, my son”.  Just to hear those words would be a great blessing. 

     Not until recently, the past couple of years I would say,  have I realized how much Mary has played a role in my life. Mary has been so present from Her Immaculate Conception being on my mom’s birthday to my birthday being that of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, to my my mom’s middle name being Mary, to Mary be a part of most of my favorite Gospel readings, songs or statues. I have always said that I wish to be there at the Wedding at Canna, where Mary says to those “ Do whatever He tells you”. The image of Mary meeting up with Jesus on the road to His crucifixion sends chills to my core and the statue of the Pieta is my favorite of all statues. That Pieta that I have is very special to me because my mom gave that to me for Christmas. It was one of the first religious gifts she gave me and meant so much because it was a way of her embracing my life in the church and my faith. My favorite song for Christmas is “Mary did You Know’. I now say the rosary or ask for Mary’s intercession on a daily basis. A favorite painting of mine is of Mary looking at the Crown of Thorns and Nails. Mary has weaved herself into my spiritual life in a gentle way, just as the lessons and love of my mother will always weave their way into my future life. 

     My Mother and Mary are strong women who have had and will continue to impact my life. They both were widows and suffered in their lives yet faced whatever came their way and continued on. Life was not the way how either one of them would have planned but embraced it and made a life for their Sons, where each knew the unyielding love of their mothers. Each gave faith and fostered the will of God into their sons lives. Mary knew of the Sacrifice that Her Son would have to give and of course not even close to what Mary and Jesus sacrificed but I think my mom knew in her own way about my vocation as well. She once asked me point blank “ If I wanted to be a Priest” and I was so taken back and scared of that question I quickly said “No” about 10 times. I think and feel that she knew before I did. My Mother and Mary are amazing women and mothers. 

     I ask if you could say a prayer and a Hail Mary for my mom and ask Mary to come into your life. Thank You for your prayers for my mom.  This was not easy to write tonight but I needed to share the blessing of having my Mom and Mary in my life as well as the peace from last night. 

Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may our Mothers and Mary be a source of love and devotion in our lives. 

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 182

Reading 1
IS 40:1-11
Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “What shall I cry out?”
“All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever.”

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:1-2, 3 AND 10AC, 11-12, 13

R. (see Isaiah 40:10ab) The Lord our God comes with power.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
They shall exult before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord our God comes with power.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The day of the Lord is near:
Behold, he comes to save us.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

MT 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion? 
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray? 
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. 
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”

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