Below is an audio and the notes from our Mother’s Day Sunday Sermon by Patrick Genova. The tile of the sermon is: Lessons from Mom.
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1st Lesson: It’s Not About Me
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Mary just finished giving birth to the Messiah! This is an incredible moment for any Mom and you would think the wise men would be coming to encourage her and make sure she felt supported, right?! It’s interesting because upon them seeing both Mary and Jesus, they seemingly quickly turn all their attention to the baby Jesus! It is almost as if Mary has become invisible!
This happens to all of us when we have kids, the parents become invisible. Think of a time you were holding a baby: Did anyone even notice you?! ha-ha it’s funny but holding a baby is like putting on an invisibility cloak!
However when we are humble and selfless we are okay with things not being about us. We understand that the world doesn’t revolved around us. Let’s look at Mary’s heart:
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
Mary was okay becoming “less” so Jesus could be more. She was okay becoming invisible for the sake of Jesus being visible.
You know what makes God invisible in our lives? It is our sin. When we sin, God becomes invisible to others and they turn their attention to us.
Q: What sins are you struggling with right now? How is it taking the attention off of Jesus?
2nd Lesson: Treasure it!
Life moves so fast! One day we are in one stage of life and the next day it feels like we have fast forwarded to the next one, we have to treasure the moments in the journey.
There is a moment in the gospel where Jesus is 12 years old and he goes missing after a family trip to Jerusalem for the passover festival. We will pick it up when Mary and Joseph turn back to go look for Jesus after realizing he had been missing for a day!
48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”[a] 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
I imagine Mary must have felt horrible for losing the Son of God! I mean talk about Mom guilt! It’s not like she misplaced our car keys (or carriage keys)! She lost the son of God. I am sure she was beating herself up. When she finally finds her 12 year old and he responds with “why were you looking for me?” I am sure that didn’t sit well with her. However, when the dust settled i believe Mary saw the bigger picture – that her son was connecting with His Father and she treasured this moment.
Even when things seem crazy we still have incredible moments to treasure. Even in the wilderness the Israelites experienced miracles. Even right now, in quarantine God is giving us moments to treasure!
Q: What miracles do you see God doing all around you?
Q: What are some moments since quarantine began that you will treasure?
3rd Lesson: Letting Go
Have you ever had to let go of something you loved? Was it a car that finally reached the breaking point? A piece of furniture? A shirt? A pair of pants? We have all had these moments when it is tough to let go!
Mary knew a time would come where she would have to let go of her son in the hardest way imaginable.
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
If you are a parent letting go becomes a pretty constant exercise: Letting go to your kids childhood innocence when they become teenagers, letting go a bit more when they go to college, letting go when they one day get married and have a family of their own and you see them less and less.
The “sword” that simeon refers to here that is going to pierce both Mary & Jesus is a reference to the deep anguish that both Jesus and Mary are going to go through. As parents, we are deeply connected and entrusting our kids to God can be so scary.
Being a parent is a constant exercise in trust! Following God is also a constant exercise in trust!
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[a] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
These are some of Jesus’s last words to His Mom and even while he is dying he is making sure she will be taken care of. However, not just her physical needs being taken care of, but her spiritual needs. Jesus could have asked any of his brothers to look out for his Mom, but instead he asks a disciple. Why is that? it’s because us supporting each other spiritually is more important than anything and in the church our love should look like we are family.
Jesus is asking Mary and John to open their hearts wide to love. They are not biological family, but they are still family in Christ. Jesus says to Mary – “This is your son” and to John- “This is your mother”. Jesus is saying that in the Church we should love each other as if we are family.
If you have poured your heart into raising kids or a particular friendship and some aspect of that relationship has changed where you are not able to do so as much anymore, do it again! There are so many people around you that need your love and your spiritual support. We will never fully let go of certain relationships but we still have to fully entrust them to God.
Q: How is your love for others? Do you fight to love spiritual brothers and sisters like family?
The best part of all of this is that her son came back! Jesus came back from the dead and what they talked about remains a private moment between mothers and son.
This is the promise we have – that when it is all said and done here we have the hope of a resurrection and the ability to continue our relationships and party together well into eternity!