Every Mother’s Day, we celebrate and show our gratitude for the love and sacrifices that our moms have made for us and the whole family. This year, on the morning of Mother’s Day, I listened to children from a radio channel reading their letters of gratitude for their moms. It was a touching moment. I wonder if every day when we wake up or before we sleep, if we appreciate the gifts of our moms and every woman who has touched our lives, then the world will be a more loving and nurturing world.
Yet, besides our biological mom, God continuously sends us maternal figures who impact our lives. One of them is the Blessed Mother Mary. She is considered our faith mother. As Jesus’ Mother, Mary did not know how the future would unfold. Like other mothers, Mary wanted the best for her child; but sometimes, she got confused and hurt by the way Jesus did His ministry or by His responses. However, by putting her life in God’s providence, Mary was able to accomplish her role as co-redemptorist with Jesus and played a necessary role in the birth of the early Christian church. Even today, Mary plays a role in our lives by inviting us to become bold like her. Or, when God calls us to do something different, such as being a sister or to respond to the needs around us, Mary is an example to us of strength and courage in following God’s will. How much trust do you have in God’s providence about your future, especially when something happens that does not fulfill your expectations or is out of your control?
A second example of how God sends women into our lives to nurture us is the story told to me by a kind, handyman at our local house. He is so gracious, always does a good job, and bills us at a low cost. If one has a chance to talk to him, one would hear his sharing: “I just want to pay off to the Sisters for all they did for me. When I was a little boy, I was a slow learner and teachers did not want to teach me. School was hard for me, but Sister Sibyllina Mueller took me in and helped me to become who I am. I have never forgotten her.” He becomes a successful man because Sister Sibyllina went against the norm of the school to be a voice for this boy and was patient with him. I believe she did all of it because of her vows of obedience and celibacy to God, listening to the signs of time and responding to the needs around her without fear, but in love and compassion with the dignity of those whom she served. I feel a connection with this deceased sister and this man, helping me understand what Jesus said; “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Let’s look at another example of a woman who heard God’s call and seeks to make a difference in the life of her fellow sisters. This sister is in her 70s and has been influencing my life a lot. Every time I express my gratitude to her, she always replies, “You don’t need to do so. I too have had someone to help me. Now, I help you, then, in the future, you will help others, even more than how I have helped you.” Later, at the wake of a sister in her 90s, this same sister, who has helped me, expressed her gratitude to this deceased sister for helping her become the person she is. Hearing this sharing, I realized that blessings and life experiences were getting passed from one person to another across generations and cultures. These women besides my biological mother have taught me how to live out the Gospel message with love, confidence, vision and so much more. I thank God for this wonderful connection among women in my community of faith.
A religious call is not a life where you give up your family. This life gives you an opportunity to reach out beyond your biological family to value the gifts God gives to you to love and be loved, to share and to receive, and more. If you feel called to live this life helping those around you or want to explore more about the life of sister in a faith community, contact us.