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Happy Mother's Day

“I go to prepare a place for you, then I will come back again to take you with me, so that where I am, you also may be.”

Those words of Jesus interpret the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord we observe this weekend. The Ascension of Jesus to “the right hand of the Father” is not about departure, but presence.

In the Resurrection, the human nature we share with Jesus was glorified – no longer subject to the limitations of the existence we know in this life, no longer bound by time, change, and eventual loss. For Jesus to ascend to heaven is not about leaving us behind, but about bringing our redeemed lives into the eternal presenceof God. And since God is not bound by place or time, Jesus can now be more present, not less present, to us as we continue to make our pilgrim way to that place made ready for us, our future and everlasting home.

This year, the Ascension beautifully coincides with Mother’s Day. Sharing in the love of God, mothers also prepare a place for us. They give each of us a place in the womb, nurtured and growing in silence, hidden from the world but truly present there. Mothers give us a place in their arms and their laps. They prepare a place for us at the dinner table, nourishing us with our meals and more, with their love and daily care. They prepare a place in the family, teaching us daily tasks we will use throughout our lives. They prepare a place in their schedules, taking us to events and games, guiding us to share in the responsibility of routine chores and special moments of family life. Mothers help us create a place for God in our lives, too – teaching us to pray, bringing us to Mass, helping us to share, be generous, apologize, be responsible for our actions even when we have failed in some way. Above all, mothers prepare a lasting place for each child in their hearts. Words really do fail to honor adequately that undying love and enduring hope in the heart of every mother.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est, says the hymn: “Where charity and love are found, God is there.” A mother’s love brings God close to us, assuring us by the place she makes for us that there is also a place prepared with God when our earthly life is complete, and we can be surrounded by that love, both human and divine.

On Mother’s Day, make a place for mothers in your prayers, your affection, and your own heart. Or do as I do each year in my mom’s honor – pick up your room, put the dishes away, clear off the counter, say the Rosary.

Thanks, moms, for who you are and what you teach us.

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