6th SUNDAY OF EASTER
Meditation on icon: Mother of the Disappeared (above)
Mother’s Day by Kathy Coffey (of Denver, Colorado – mother of four)
I have spent the week in dialogue with a most unusual woman. In hands which should cradle a child, she holds a crown of thorns. Her fingers are seared as brutally as her son or daughter’s flesh was torn. She is the Mother of the Disappeared. While this icon might seem an odd choice for the celebration of Mother’s Day, it is appropriate for reasons larger than Hallmark cards. Her halo reminds us that the parents of the martyred die inwardly like Mary and are holy like Mary.
Violating all the rules for classic iconography, a handprint smears the lower left corner of the top portrait above. It is as out of place as a jelly blob on a book, a stain on the new carpet or the grubby marks that children leave on walls. Lest we become too heady about holiness, it reminds us of reality: It is the signature of El Salvador death squads!
Meeting this icon, I protested, “I don’t want to live with you all week! Your stare condemns my safety and luxury. Why don’t you go away and let me enjoy the apple blossoms, my daughter’s pastel dresses, the joys of spring?” My instinct to flee seemed supported by a line from the Gospel: “I came that they might have life in abundance.” If Christ’s gift of life has been so cruelly grabbed from these mothers and their children, what does it mean to me?
She replies, “I participate in Christ’s trouncing of the death-dealing forces that stalk all children. Just as the martyrs of El Salvador played their part in bringing an end to the civil war, so I stand implacable as conscience. Persistently, I call oppressors to accountability. Furthermore, I challenge you to nurture the life you have been given, for it is fragile and precious.”
Her eyes upon me quieten my annoyance with my children, my frustration with their little failures. She reminds me that although I may not understand her particular ordeal, I may confront other problems. Can I bring them to her serenity, her conviction that God is with us both in loving support?
“You still have your children,” she reminds me. “Cherish them. Why do you get irritated when they invade your quiet times? I would give anything for such a little invasion. But my arms are empty. My home is silent.”
Eventually, for me as for her, all the children disappear. They grow up, leave for college, find their own paths. As one mom lamented, sweeping up debris, “First they break your things. Then they break your heart.” Sometimes the mothers disappear. My ten-year-old daughter tells me about the little boy in her class who made a Mother’s Day card along with the other children, but he didn’t know where to send it. Mom left; he lives with his dad.
In such heartbreaking separations, we see into the mystery of God. Jesus, torn from his mother on the way to Calvary, can understand our worst nightmare, and relate to the suffering we most dread. However difficult our experience with our children may be, God participates intimately in the relationship. And that is good news for Mother’s Day. —From the book Thresholds to Prayer (cf. AmericanCatholic.org)
The icon: “Madre de los Disaparecidos” is by Brother Robert Lentz OFM. Click here for access to his writing about the icon.
* * *
Parish Contact Details
* * *
Rosaries in your neighborhood
* Nora Kingston, 24 Alfred St ph. 6033 2026 Wednesdays at 4.30pm
* Chris & Janet McLean, 5A Lindsay St: ph. 04 299 823 66 Wednesdays at 5.30pm
* Karinya Aged Care Chapel, Sundays 11am
* St Mary’s Church, Saturdays 8.45am
* * *
Remember in Prayer
Shirley Ash, Tommy Upton, Kevin Seymour, May Houlihan, Joan Sandral, Kevin Lovell, Imelda Gauci
* * *
FORTHCOMING MEETINGS / EVENTS
Parish Confirmations – parents / families with candidates, please contact Fr Hart to ensure registration and instruction.
First meeting will be 6.30pm Wednesday 13th May in St Mary’s church
Wrap w Love: Mon 18th May 9.30am in Hall CWL Thurs 21 May 1.45pm Meet in Hall
Caritas Australia Nepal E-quake Appeal 16-17 May
Use special appeal envelope for donations.
Leaving appeal will be 16-17 May.
Thank you to everyone who donated to project compassion, raising $1667.05 and for all donations to VANUATU & Holy Places.
MASS INTENTIONS 9th – 17th May
Sat 9th 6.30 Mass (Shirley Ash; Sr M Claver)
Sunday 10th Mother’s Day
9.00am Mass (All parishioners, esp. Mothers)
9.00am Mass (Kath Harden; Lorna Poidevin, Mary Moriarty)
9.00 Mass (Marie Kaitler, Pat Thompson, Phyllis Lowden)
9.00am Mass (Imelda Gauci, Marie Buggy)
Thurs 14th St Matthias, Apostle
11.40 Novena & Mass (Lyndon & Peter Robinson)
10.00am Anointing Mass in Hall (Sick; Marie Dougal – 90 yrs b-day)
8.45am Rosary & Mass (Dixie Leslie & Leopard family)
6.30pm Vigil Mass (Marg Elliott, Joan Sandral)
Sunday 17th Ascension of the Lord (Christian Unity Wk)
9.00am Mass (All parishioners)
* * *
Roster for 16th – 17th May
6.30pm – J Clohessy B O’Donoghue
9.00am – CWL
6.30pm – J McLean E Kingston
9.00am – A Campbell
6.30pm – I & F Brooks
9.00am – B Christy R Taylor
Altar: – Mary Fitzgibbon
6.30pm – M Clohessy M Skehan
9.00am – C Sandral
6.30pm – M Blockley, N Esplana
9.00am – S & O Aitkin
Collection: J Taylor
Counters: R Packer I Brooks
* * *
THE JOURNEY CATHOLIC RADIO PROGRAM
Airs 10 May 2015
This week on “The Journey” Bruce Downes the Catholic Guy helps us to find our true identity. Trish McCarthy explains how nature reveals God to us and listen to some great music from Shawn McDonald, Fr Rob Galea and John Foreman. Tune into LIFE 101.9 FM and 98.5 THE LIGHT Albury Wodonga Sun 11am or go to www.radio.dow.org.au where you can listen in and subscribe to weekly shows.