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Jesus and His disciples are gathered around the table. Having finished the Last Supper, Jesus gives His friends a few last words of wisdom before His Passion begins. I can imagine the disciples listening to Him intently. He shares important instructions, theological truths, and most of all, His love.
Although it might seem like a stretch at first, I think this Gospel passage applies a lot to Mother’s Day. I think of all the meals I shared with my mom, and all of the lessons she taught me. I remember our after dinner conversations while we’re still sitting around the table filled with stories, lessons, and post of all, love.
Jesus repeats His command to love each other often, saying “Love one another as I love you” (John 15:12). As He stresses His love, Jesus gives us a glimpse of His infinite love. As we strive to be like Jesus, we’re called to love each other unconditionally. Some of the most beautiful examples of unconditional love that I’ve witnessed have been in mothers. The reminders from my own mom of “I love you no matter what,” show me that unconditional love is real and give me an idea of what Jesus’ love for me is like. Loving as perfectly as Jesus does is difficult, but my mom shows me that it’s possible.
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Here, Jesus is talking about sacrificial love. I used to think that this verse only referred to actually laying down one’s life for someone. Now, I know that you can sacrifice for someone without literally dying. It might be a small death to yourself, but it’s worth it because it’s for someone else’s life. Moms do this all the time. Aside from Jesus, I think of mothers when I think of sacrificial love. I see in my own mom the ways that she sets aside her own wants for my needs. She prays while she cleans the house and listens to Catholic speakers while she cooks dinner. With such a constant example of sacrificial love in my life, I remember Jesus’ sacrificial love, and I’m inspired to grow in this virtue.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, mothers-in-law, step mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, and all women who generously give a mother’s love.