As we celebrate Mother's Day and thank our mothers for all they do for us and for all their love, we also remember Mary, our Blessed Mother! Certainly we should show our own love and devotion to her this day, but also to be inspired by her unwavering faithfulness to God. Being so committed to her love for God, there was no struggle or hardship that would cause her to compromise her "yes" to God.
Jesus says in the Gospel today, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Expressing in words your love for another person is very important. It’s good that a person say, "I love you". Those three words can be the most beautiful and powerful words in a person’s life. It’s necessary for husbands and wives to say to each other I love you. Today being Mother’s Day, how good it is for children to say to their mothers, “I love you.” But also, how necessary it is for children to hear words of love from their parents. And when those words are said to you, you know how powerfully moved you can be when you're told that you are loved. You can be lifted up out of feelings of depression, out of loneliness, out of feeling unappreciated.
But, while saying those words are effective and meaningful, those words don’t mean anything unless they are also reflected in what we do. Loving someone is not expressed just by what we say, but it becomes real by a person’s action. What Jesus is saying from our Gospel today is that if we say we love God, what actions do we do that express it? “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” Whatever God expects us to do, whatever He tells us, it’s entirely motivated by His love for us. God is Love – and everything He does is Love. And so, wanting us to follow His commandments is meant for us to experience more deeply God’s love for us, and to teach us how to love.
If we say that we love God, then how do we show it? It’s not saying that we love God, but then not go to Church every Sunday, or say that we love God but then treat people disrespectfully with slander and a lack of charity, to say that we love God but hate our enemies.
Mary, our Blessed Mother, desires that we have that unwavering faithfulness to God. May she intercede for us, that her prayers can help us to have that same “yes” to God like hers, that our love for God will always be shown in our commitment to be faithful to His commands.
Father Adam Park grew up in the Washington, DC area. He discovered his vocation to the priesthood while on retreat during his senior year in high school. Being ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington, he has served in different assignments throughout the archdiocese.