A Homily for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The role model for all mothers.

If there is anyone who understands motherhood, with its joys, challenges, and sorrows, it’s our Mother Mary.

Motherhood is a vocation.  -   and for most of it you are thrown in at the deep end and you learn has you go along -it can be exhausting, frustrating, scary and the most rewarding, and joyous job.

One of the things no one tells you when you become a mother, is that strange emotion every mother feels - ‘MOM GUILT''

The feeling that you are never good or capable enough or never doing the right thing for your child.

And even when they grow up into adults you can still get an attack of it from time to time!!

It’s the elephant in the room that no one talks about and you think you are the only mother who has it!

It’s usually there when you have to make decisions about your child's welfare and that tugging at the heart strings- should I go back to work.  Should I leave my child with the baby sitter, will I be able leave my child for the first time -what if they cry- what if they miss me- what if they don’t make friends and it’s the constant WHAT IFs...that slowly rob you of enjoying your child's development and can make you feel inadequate.

This year as the schools start back.  There will be many tears  from mothers over the next few weeks, not only because they will be having to let their children go at the school gates for the first time, something hard at the best of times but this year they will also have the added pressure  of social distancing,  wearing face coverings, hand sanitising and the question on every ones minds- will my child be safe.

It’s an ache in the heart knowing you have to put your trust in others to take care of your little ones, and it’s a big transition to get used too.

Over the years when I was in my job at a leisure centre as a Leisure  and  Creche Assistant, I meet some amazing mothers, but not because they were perfect but because they were learning to be mom with all its ups and downs and sometimes just needing that time away just for themselves to recharge their batteries -  But the  hardest thing they found to do was to be separated from their405 children.

But these small letting go' s are preparing children to become capable adults for the future.

And as mother's its teaching you that one day you have to allow them to walk the journey of life on their own two feet.

Today as we celebrate Mary's birthday or as it is also known as, The nativity of Mary.    

The Gospel reading of Luke today, also reminds us of 

how Mary was called to her own vocation as the mother of Jesus.

The birth of Jesus foretold, when the Angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth a town in Galilee, to proclaim, Greetings!  you are highly favoured; The Lord is with you.

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what greeting this may be.

But the angel said to her "Do not be afraid Mary you have found favour with God ".  You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus.

Mary had a huge responsibility on her shoulders to give birth to the son of God, carrying the ache in her heart that one day she would have to give up her own son in the worst way possible death on a cross.

Letting go of her beloved child to allow God's will to be fulfilled the salvation for all people.  -There was a purpose to the letting go.

She also would know how strong the bond of love was between herself and her son Jesus.  As she stood at the foot of the cross,

that bond between child and mother could never be broken in this life or in our heavenly home.

This year has been a real challenge for parents, especially keeping the children occupied and home schooled and safe while juggling family life and work commitments and I expect most mother's will be really looking forward to a break.  but the MOM GUILT

will rear its ugly head again, only this time,

allow yourself to let go of those worries.  Give them to God.  Remember the positive input and love you give your child every day and give yourself that break.

By kind to yourself.

Self-care is important.

It is OK to be just you!

You will be a better mom for it.

And learn to forgive yourself, for you will on many occasions get it wrong- it is part of being a mom.

And remember to pray to the Blessed virgin Mary always, for guidance, protection, and love, for your little ones, as they start school, nursery, or playgroup and for the big ones, who start university college or work,  and as a mother enjoy all the  milestones they reach and even the ones they don't reach, because they are forming your child into the special, unique, person they are meant to be, with all their little personality quirks and traits. 

Each child loved by God and precious in his sight.

And let us give thanks, to Our Mother Mary, for giving us the gift of her child, Jesus Christ.

Let us celebrate their bond of love- the bond that links us all together as children of God.

As we say together

Hail Mary....

Amen.

Now -Let us listen to a piece of music, Ave Maria and remember the YES Mary said, for you and me so that her son could become our King of love!

Happy birthday Mary!