MAY 10, 2020
"WE ALL NEED A MOM"
Christians & Coronavirus:
Staying Connected in Christ
WE ALL NEED A MOM
I think it is safe to say that, for most of us, this is the first time we have celebrated a Mother’s Day in the midst of a pandemic with stay-at-home orders (if this is not the first time for you, then I would love to hear that story). This Mother’s Day may look very different from past celebrations, but I still can’t help being excited as I consider my own beautiful mother, Teresa Geiger. She is, without a doubt, a champion-mom.
However, as much as I love Teresa Geiger, I get even more excited (and she would too) when I consider our common mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, as we continue to struggle in the midst of this pandemic and so much uncertainty, the following words spoken by Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego may be especially helpful for us:
Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that disturbs you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing. Do not let your countenance, your heart be disturbed. Do not fear this sickness… or any other sickness, nor anything that causes anxiety or vexation. Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.
These are words spoken by a loving mother to her son. I am especially moved by her words, “Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?” Both of these phrases were, for the Aztec people, well known euphemisms. The Aztec mothers would wear long tunics or mantles and would fold them in such a way to carry their children, so to be “in the hollow of one’s mantle” meant “to be held.” Also, if you imagine giving someone a hug, your arms would be crossed behind the other’s neck or back, so being “in the crossing of one’s arms” meant “receiving a hug.” Furthermore, Mary doesn’t say, “might you be in the hollow of my mantle…” or “won’t you let me put you in the hollow of my mantle…” She says, “are you not in the hollow of my mantle…” which means that her child is already being held and hugged by this loving mother.
During this time when so many of us are longing for contact with others, and maybe even just wanting a hug, do not forget that your perfect mother Mary is already holding you and already hugging you.
Fr. Chris Geiger