“Do you have a cold?” my dear Momma said to me, just the other day.
And I had to smile, warmed by the tender compassion in her voice melting the congestion in my chest – even across the miles as we spoke on the phone.
How many times had my Momma – our Momma – said these or similar words to me and my brothers (and our loved ones) through the years… through the decades?
Our dear Momma, “Doctor Mom,” ever on-call – if not perhaps to offer a cure for what ails us, then at least to make us feel comforted. To make us feel loved.
Of course, advanced medical science is just one of the many gifts she has ushered into our lives. She is a master of the culinary arts as well…and a gifted story-teller…often bringing those two talents together in riotously funny tales of “recipes gone wrong.”
She is irrepressible impresario, too – both entertaining us with her lovely singing voice…and displaying a unique talent for wrangling relatives and friends into her spontaneous cabaret productions as we gather around the hearth or in the living room.
Momma may be at her best though, when she sits quietly in prayer. When she communes with the Lord Jesus. When she prays the daily office. When she meditates on all the goodness and grace that God has poured out into her life. There have been heartbreaks along the way, for sure. And physical and spiritual afflictions. But these seem only to strengthen her faith in Divine Providence – a faith that she graciously and generously shares with almost everyone she encounters.
“Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,” says Saint Peter in the second reading we hear at Mass today, on the Sixth Sunday of Easter.
Always be ready, he says. And I am reminded that Peter himself was blessed to have a woman much like my Momma in his own life. Scripture recounts the brief but remarkable tale:
Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.
Yep, we are deeply blessed, aren’t we – to have such women in our lives? Gals like my Momma, and my wife and the mothers of my grandchildren…gals who lead with love and compassion and self-giving, just about every minute of every day.
So let me just say this on behalf of all of us, from the bottom of our overflowing hearts: “Thanks, Momma(s)! Always!”
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.