Mother's Day 2020 Message from Bishop Jaime Soto

“Am I not here, I, who am your mother?”

These were the words spoken to St. Juan Diego by the Blessed Virgin Mary upon hearing his distress over his sick uncle.  The anxiety for his ailing uncle, Bernardino, distracted Juan Diego from carrying out the mission set before him by Our Lady. As we delve into the month of May, a month dedicated to Our Lady, we welcome the warmth and natural beauty that comes with the transition of seasons.  We are surrounded by the fresh green of tender foliage,  a dazzling palette of flowers and their sweet fragrance. Spring brings light and joy to our hearts.

In this time of much uncertainty and precautions, we may not have lifted our eyes to the joy that the season brings.  Sheltered-at-home, the opportunities to immerse ourselves in the beauty of creation are few. The current circumstances of the coronavirus have imposed much hardship on families.  For this reason it is vital to seize this holy month of May to seek out the beauty that exists within our own homes and all around.  Through the signs of the season, Mary reminds us, “Am I not here, I, who am your mother?”

Although we may be distracted from the natural joys of the season, on this Mother’s Day let us revive our hearts with  gratitude for the deep, self-sacrificial love of all the mothers who provide the same message of hope to their families as did Our Lady to Juan Diego. Let us remember the women who serve as the heart of the home and bring words of wisdom, consolation, and strength to their families amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.  We honor the many sacrifices of mothers who serve the public in this time of pandemic as doctors, nurses, and other roles as emergency and essential care givers.  You, in a special way,  reflect the love of Our Lady caring for all who are her spiritual children.  In all these many ways, mothers are essential to the well-being and health of our homes and communities.

Though these uncertain times may cloud the brilliance of the blossoming world around us, we recognize the glow of grace in the domestic church that is flowering in many homes during this pandemic.  We are grateful for the radiance of grace and joy mothers bring to their families during this time. To all women who are expecting, all those who have recently given birth to a child, mothers who are shepherding their offspring, and all grieving mothers throughout the Sacramento Diocese, we pray for you and your families.  May the light of the risen Christ burn as a beacon of light, hope, strength, and joy in your hearts and homes.

Many mothers are struggling and in need of support and companionship. Our commitment to the Gospel of Life should extend to them so that they and their children may know the abundance of life which Jesus, the Lord of mercy brings.

The clouds of doubt and fear may cause to dim any glimmer of hope, especially in the hearts of some expectant mothers and tempt them to the dark door of abortion.  A kind word of encouragement, a simple act of charity can be a ray of mercy, an assuring hand that guides women away from that darkness, leading them to discover the light of Spring glowing and growing within them.

I am grateful for all those who have labored in the works of mercy during this plague.  All your efforts to feed, shelter, counsel, and care bring to fruition the pro-life teachings of the gospel, saving hearts and homes every day.

Let us contemplate the image of Our Blessed Mother Mary during this time.  Invite her to pray with your family as you recite the Holy Rosary. Ask her to wrap all mothers and their families in her mantle of consolation and protection. She intercedes on our behalf, bringing our petitions before the throne of God.

May her Son, Jesus, give us patience and perseverance in these troubled times.  To all mothers, on this Mother’s Day, be assured of my prayers and blessing.