May 7.  Audrey shared, “Is there anything a parent will not do for their kids?” Jabu didn’t hesitate at all when it was discovered that their daughter was in need of a kidney transplant. “Of course, I’m open to donating mine. And while I’m about it I want to make a pledge that any body parts of mine can be donated should that be possible at any stage. I wish I could help someone in that way.” Marissa said, “I am interested in animal ecology and was reading how moms will even sacrifice their lives for their babies.” 

Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  John 15:12-17. Pope Francis: Adopting a child is an act of love, offering the gift of a family to one who has none. Adoption and fostercare, correctly understood manifest an important aspect of parenting and raising children. Children are persons in their own right who need to be loved, cared for, accepted and not just brought into this world.  AL180.  Mary, mother of the suffering and sick,  pray for us.                     

May 8.  When pope Francis presented his letter  Amoris Laetitia to the people there were almost two factions. Some bishops, theologians and laity followed his more caring pastoral approach to many of the issues around divorce, remarriage and receiving communion as well as contraception, acknowledging the place of conscience in moral decisionmaking by the people.  Another group disagreed and wanted a much more rigid legalistic approach to upholding traditional teaching. There clearly was conflict between them.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18-21. Pope Francis:   We find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.   AL37.   Mary, mother of law-makers pray for us.   

May 9.    6th Sunday of Easter B.  Mother’s Day.  When Fr Brian looked at the readings for the day he smiled. “What could be more appropriate,” he posted in his whatsapp message, and told those at Mass. “We say ‘God is love’ but we can even make it more concrete and say, ‘A mother is love,’ of “mom is love.  And also ‘Mary, our Mother, and the Mother of Jesus is love.” I believe that no one can love as a mother does. No one sacrifices more and gives her life for her children – even in the animal kingdom that is a known fact.  And yet, there are women, potential mothers, who refuse to love, reject their unborn baby or abandon a child. What would drive a mother to do something so unnatural?  Let us pray for mothers everywhere and in all situations, that they may be examples of love, God’s love in the world and that we men, fathers and children will give them the support they need. At times these are not easy tasks.

Beloved, let us love one another for love is of God and she who loves is born of God and knows God. She who does not love does not know God; for God is love.  1 John 4:7. Pope Francis: Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of self-centred individualism.  It is they who testify to the beauty of life.  A society without mothers would be dehumanised for even in the worst of times they are witness to tenderness, dedication and moral strength.  AL 174  Our love for others, for who they are, moves us to seek the best for their lives.  Only by cultivating this ways of relating to one another will we make possible a social friendship that excludes no one and a fraternity open to all. FT 94.   Mary, model of motherhood, pray for us.

May 10.  The parish family ministry team decided to invite a psychologist to meet with single mothers to listen and counsel them. There were a number of teenage moms but also some more mature mothers. The team also considered whether the fathers, young or older should be involved.  This was important but could be a very awkward matter as some of the mothers didn’t want to acknowledge the fathers or have them present. 

We sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. Acts 16:11-15. Pope Francis: We often hear that ours is a society without fathers. Manhood itself seems to be called into question. The result has been an understandable confusion. It is not good for children to lack a father. AL 176-7 Single-parent families often result from unwillingness of biological mothers or fathers to be part of a family, situations of violence or abandonment by one parent and other situations.  AL252.   Mary, mother most powerful pray for us.  

May 11.   Rufus was a prison warder. Sometimes he wondered why he had chosen that career but convinced himself that he could do something worthwhile for the offenders in his block and their families. Some warders were vindictive or corrupt but Rufus was determined always to be fair and just in his dealings with the men, some of whom were hardly more than boys. One of the best things he did was arrange for an Alpha programme for prisoners.  Many shared how they  could reflect on their lives and experience God’s presence. 

When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open he drew his sword and was about to kill himself as he thought the prisoners had escaped. Paul cried, “do not harm yourself, we are here.” The jailer believed in the Lord and he and his family were baptised.  Acts 16:22-34.   Pope Francis:   Those who work in prisons are called to help those who have unfortunately fallen into the trap of evil to rise again and grow in hope. “The attitude of closeness and compassion finds its root in the love of Christ and can foster in many prisoners the trust, the awareness, and the certainty of being loved,” he stated. Address to prison personnel February 2019.  Mary, caring mother of prisoners pray for us.