In response to a vision that he had seen, and at the request of Cornelius, Peter went to Caesarea accompanied by some brothers from Joppa. The vision was about welcoming Gentiles into the Christian community. When Peter arrived at the house of Cornelius he preached the good news to all those who were present, the Holy Spirit descended on them and they too were baptized. Thanks to the ministry of Peter and other disciples, the good news of the resurrection continued to spread even to pagan territories. What that teaches us is that the love and generosity of God excludes no one, regardless of their religion, race and nationality. Both the second reading and the gospel speak of the love of God the Father made manifest in the sending of His son to die on the cross and to redeem us from our sins “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn.15:13).”Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1Jn.4:7). It is love that redeemed us and it is that same love that defines us. Love invites us to tear down all barriers and to get rid of all prejudices and labels and devalue and dehumanize other people. It invites us to justice and mercy, kindness and compassion. It invites us to act patiently, embrace forgiveness and to live in a manner that is self-sacrificing. Today, we celebrate one of the greatest expressions of divine love, the gift of our mothers. We reach out to all mothers in love and appreciation for being an embodiment of that kind of self-sacrificial love which finds perfection in Christ. We offer prayers for all mothers in our parish and all over the world. We pray for the sick and elderly mothers, for those mothers who spend long and sleepless nights wondering how to support their families, for those suffering from violence and abuse, for single mothers left with the burden of caring for their children alone, for adoptive mothers, and for all those who feel called to the vocation to motherhood. May the God of eternal love bless their sacrifices with immeasurable graciousness. May their tireless labors receive their fitting rewards both in time and eternity, Amen.
Happy Mothers Day!