In behalf of all of us, I want to wish the mothers among us a happy Mothers’ Day. In our faith, to be a mother is a vocation, a call from God, the gift of a special kind of love to the family, and a blessing to the larger community. For the faith and love of our mothers, we give thanks to God.
Our Gospel today is taken from our Lord’s discourse at the Last Supper, where He speaks of the meaning of His cross and resurrection to the disciples. He has come from the Father, He returns to the Father. He and the Father are one. As He said to Philip, “he who has seen me has seen the Father.” Through His cross and resurrection, He shares with us His life, the very life of God.
He goes from us, but out of love, which always unites, He has found a way of staying with us. He leaves us the Eucharist, His real presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and the Mass, daily sanctifying the Church and the world for which He gave His life, and the sacraments. He leaves the eye-witness of the apostles, the authority of Peter, the blessedness of the Virgin Mary, all components of the Church, which at the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, becomes a living entity. The Epistle reading says He has given us of this Spirit, that by our example and good works, even those who speak against us will see the work of God. In this way, the Church becomes a mother, giving birth to new children by faith and baptism. The Lord has left us with grace and strength as we bear our own crosses, knowing that He has overcome the cross.
It is said that Christianity without the cross is powerless. And this is why. Our Lord Himself spoke of the cross as His being lifted up, as His glorification. It is where we see the kingship of Christ, by His authority reversing sin and its consequences, death. It is the source of all these graces. Anyone who would separate the cross from Christianity would deprive us of the one means of salvation the one hope for the world. Without the cross, there is no faith, no hope, no effective charity.
The Lord spoke of the meaning of His cross and resurrection at the Last Supper where He handed Himself over. But before He handed Himself over to those who would crucify Him, He handed Himself over to those who would believe in Him and follow Him and live in the love of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. By His cross and resurrection, He has handed over to us His life, the very life of God.