Forgiving Those Closest To Us
Blessings to all mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers, expectant mothers, mothers in this world and those who have passed from this world. May your giving of yourself for children be blessed by God who created mothers in order to continue creating within His creation.
It is wonderful to be able to celebrate this gift of motherhood while celebrating the month of Mary, the Mother of God, and resurrection. It all fits together as a part of God’s plan. There is a line in our funeral services that says, “We believe that all the ties of friendship and affection that knit us as one throughout our lives do not unravel with death.” This is all possible because of the resurrection. It is not just that we will live on, but that we will know each other and we will also know how we are connected with each other. That is good news and bad news. The good news is that we will be able to continue those bonds of love. The bad news is that Jesus had good reason for us to need to forgive. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us are the ones who have hurt us the most.
Sometimes forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply seems impossible. That is because it can only be one way when the other person does not want reconciliation. That does not change what we must do, which is just what Jesus did on the cross when he said, “Father forgive them.” I’m sure that He knew that some of them did not want that forgiveness. He gives it because that is who He is. It is also that He knows what we must do to be one with Him in heaven.
Sometimes forgiveness is not that hard and reconciliation happens. That is what happened with my parents. My mother’s mother and grandmother both were widows for several decades. My Mom told me that she told Dad that if he left her to live the same way, she would haunt him. When Dad died, she was angry at him. It took a while but she forgave him; and when she died, I prayed they could be together again because they both were ready to live in Christ.
The other blessing that I pray for is that they now have a connection with their spiritual mother, Mary. Dad did forty years of Mother of Perpetual Help devotions. Mom did those and also prayed tons of rosaries. Knowing that they had that mother in heaven was a comfort throughout their lives and now is an even greater comfort for them. Having the Queen of Heaven to turn to in our prayers is an advantage that we all have as Catholics. As we celebrate the bonds of motherhood and the month of Mary, I just hope that more people will take advantage of this opportunity to have bonds of love so they are ready for their resurrection.
God bless you all,
Fr. Frank Baumert