When Jesus instituted the Eucharist and washed his disciples’ feet, he gave us gestures of love “that allow the church to grow if we are faithful to our calling,” Pope Francis said in his April 26 homily during Mass at St. Martha’s Church.
“Without love, (the church) does not grow, but rather becomes an empty institution of appearances, of gestures without fruitfulness,” he said. “Jesus tells how we should love: unconditionally until the end.”
The pope reflected on the Gospel reading from St. John in which Jesus, after washing his disciples’ feet, tells them, “If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (Jn 13:13-17)
Jesus’ “awareness that he is greater than all of us” is proof of his humility because, despite being Lord and Teacher, he humbled himself through concrete acts of love, the pope said.
His command to his disciples to love one another, to serve one another, and to know that we are never greater than the master “are blunt words and gestures that are the foundation of the church,” Pope Francis said. “If we live these three things, we will never be mistaken.”
Like the many good Christians who lived with this awareness of being servants of others, we must walk along the path of humility set forth by Jesus. Like Jesus, we are to serve others.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. We are aware that the role of a Mother is to serve the need of her children. Someone once said, “God could not be everywhere so the Almighty created mothers. The following is a tribute to Mothers.
The author, Erma Bombeck, described the complex task God had in creating mothers.
The Almighty had to create a creature who would “run on black coffee and leftovers; have a lap that disappears when she stands up; a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; six pairs of hands and three pairs of eyes.”
It went something like this: An angel pleaded with God not to work so hard.
“Lord,” said the angel gently, “Come to bed.” “I can’t,” said the Lord, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself.” The angel circled the model of a mother slowly and said, “It is so soft.” “But also tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Finally, bending over and running her finger across the cheek, the angel pronounced, “There’s a leak. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.” “It is not a leak,” said the Lord, “It is a tear.” “What is it for?” asked the angel.
The Lord answered, “It is for joy, sadness, loneliness, pain, disappointment and pride.” “You are a Genius,” the angel replied. “Pray that her children will respond to her love,” God said.
“Do not forsake the teaching of your mother. Bind them continually on your heart. Tie them around your neck.” (Prov. 6:20,21)
Another salute to Mothers: The Lord had created humans but after a while he realized something was missing. Everyone was crying, unhappy, and stressed out, and no one was available to help them. Finally he sent a few angels down to straighten things out, to be there when someone scraped a knee, to console the sorrowful, to comfort those who were picked on by bullies. They did their job well and today we call them mothers.
May you have a great Mother’s Day.