My brothers and sisters in Christ,1
So today, we celebrate Mother’s Day. So first of all, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers and grandmothers. Later on, after the prayer of the faithful, we have a special blessing for all mothers on this beautiful day of Mother’s Day.
And these are, as we know, challenging times for our families, and especially our mothers and grandmothers. In many beautiful ways, our families have become domestic churches in this time of the coronavirus pandemic.
And we know that our mothers are the heart of every home. And yes, you have even greater responsibilities now, especially those of you who are raising young children who are at home now during this lockdown.
So, we pray for all of you today in a special way and we thank you for your love.
And today, as I was reflecting on the Scripture readings today and especially the passage of the Gospel, I think Jesus is speaking directly to our hearts, as we just heard in the passage of the Gospel:
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me. …
Where I am you also may be.
I am the way and the truth and the life.
In our Christian journey — as we continue during this challenging time — we have to remember that it is a journey of trust. We really don’t know how things will unfold in these challenging times. But we are walking together, as one family, and we are stronger together. But it is uncertain the road we are on.
But Jesus tells us today not to be worried, not be afraid. Jesus makes himself the way for our life. And this is an invitation for all of us during this challenging time to strengthen our faith.
“Have faith in me.” This is what he is asking of each one of us today. We are walking with Jesus. Let’s never forget that! The road sometimes, can be hard to see. God can seem far away. But Jesus is walking with us. Have faith in me.
And, as we know, when we walk with Jesus, we are walking with the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. He is “God from God, light from light.” As we pray in our Profession of Faith.
So, we need to be aware of this light in our life all the time, because we are always in the presence of God.
As St. Peter tells us today that we are God’s chosen people. “You are … a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Especially now, my dear brothers and sisters, when there are so many people who are hurting in our own families, in our society, Jesus is calling us “to announce the praises of him who call you out of darkness” and not to be worried about ourselves, but to get over ourselves, to go beyond ourselves, and to give ourselves to others.
Yes, we have many worries, these days. But we cannot stay locked inside ourselves. A good test always is to ask ourselves whether we are thinking about our own things more than we are thinking about the needs and the worries of other people.
So we need to really ask for the grace to feel the presence of Jesus in our lives and to let him be a light for other people.
We need to help one another, we need to build each other up. We need to bring hope to the people — especially he people around us.
This is exactly how the first Christians lived, as we heard in today’s first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles.
As we heard today, the Church’s mission of love has three parts — there is prayer, there is proclaiming the Word, and there is serving the poor and the vulnerable.
And the Church’s mission hasn’t changed and it doesn’t stop because society has shut down. Our personal duty as disciples does not stop because we are uncertain about the future.
Jesus tells us today: Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.
So our Christian faith means always watching what Jesus is doing — and then doing ourselves what we see him doing.
Jesus changed the world by his love. He changed the life of every person he met. This is also our goal, my dear brothers and sisters. Even in this challenging situation of the coronavirus pandemic, our challenge is to try always to do what Jesus does. So that means we have to love as Jesus loved — with all our heart.
As we know, right now, it’s difficult to be close to people. We can see here, in this beautiful Cathedral, when we have the celebration of holy Mass with just a few of us here.
Sometimes we can feel lonely and disconnected. But in this time, maybe we can make a phone call, send a message to check in on people in our families and in our parishes.
We can tell them that we are praying for them. We can listen to them and share with them words of hope and joy. This is how we can proclaim Christ. This is how we can serve our brothers and sisters.
And I have to tell you that I am really impressed and amazed at all the great works of prayer, spirituality and service of all of you are doing in the Archdiocese.
Just one little beautiful example is our candles prayer program here at the Cathedral but then if you have the opportunity, take a look at our Archdiocese webpage, LACatholics.org and you can see so many of the beautiful works of love and services in our parishes and schools.
So, as I said, this is how those first Christians lived and this is how we are called to live in this challenging time. The first Christians supported one another through their prayers and their works and we are doing the same.
Let’s try to be there spiritually and through the ways that we can to support each other during this challenging time.
And we remember during this month of May, Mary the mother of Jesus was at the heart of the first Christian community. And Mary our Blessed Mother is still the heart of the Church today.
So, let us ask Our Blessed Mother to help us to stay close to Jesus, just as she did. To walk with him, to talk to him, and to have faith in him. Just as Mary did.
Let us especially ask Mary today to watch over our mothers and our grandmothers. We entrust all our mothers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
May she help every mother to be a great disciple, teaching and guiding her children to trust in God’s love and Providence in these challenging times and always.
1. Readings: Acts 6:1-7; Ps. 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; 1 Pet. 2:4-9; John 14:1-12.