The story is told about a man who spent a fortune trying to find a cure for his baldness. When asked why he did so, his response was: “It is better to give than to recede.”

Today is Mother’s Day. Mothers are those who constantly give and give, and who don’t mind if they recede. That’s just the way they are. They truly love, and keep on giving, and do so without much fanfare or grandstanding. Such are mothers!

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 14, 1-12), Jesus tells His disciples not to be troubled because He is going to prepare a place for us, and He Himself will show us the way. He Himself is the way to the Father’s house: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” We honor our mothers today, our very first mentors who have shown us the way toward truth and life.

We honor Mama Mary today. It is she who leads us to her Son, Jesus. If we want to come closer to Jesus, Mary, His very own mother, is the one who will lead us to Him because it is she who knows Him best. No one, not even St. Joseph, not even the disciples, knew Jesus as Mary did. Those who follow Mary end up loving Jesus, and she herself tells us to love and follow her Son. “To Jesus, through Mary.”

We pray today for our Motherland, ang ating Inang Bayan. A mother loves her children—all her children—no matter what. May those who run our country never forget that our Motherland will still be our Motherland long after they are gone. We all, including our so-called leaders, are just passing through.

Let us pray today for our Mother Nature and Mother Earth. May the generations after us still enjoy our Mother Nature and Mother Earth. An urgent reminder: Let us not be so careless, irresponsible and greedy as to forget that there are innocent and helpless people who come after us.

Gone too soon. Leonard Ilano, 44, went home to the Father in his prime. He was a successful architect, a joyful person who lived life to the full. He had a stomach ache for three days, and then he was gone. His wife, Grace, described their life together as “four years and four months so full of joy and fun.” Until we meet again in the resurrection, pray for us, Leonard, as we pray for you. Continue to smile at us from heaven above.

Today, Mother’s Day, let me share with Mommy Lita Ilano, Leonard’s mother, a poem found by Odette Sacaben in Our Lady of Walsingham Church in England. Titled “A Last Goodbye,” the poem answered many of Odette’s questions then when she, too, lost her teenage son: “Though happily each year had begun, I had to die while very young/ It is so long since our last touch, and I miss your presence there so much/ Of many things I needed to learn so to this place God made me turn/ Yet with so many things to do, I have taken this moment to speak to you/ The life that was, was not to be mine/ Yet within this world, it has worked out fine/ Where I am now I have new friends, in a place called heaven where the spirit ascends/ Straight to this world, few pass it by, and no one can really die/ Although this child you cannot see, I know you’d be so proud of me/ I look forward to when I’ll see you, Mum/ So until it is your time to come, enjoy your life, and please don’t cry/ I just came to say a last goodbye.”

Jesus tells us today: “I am going to the Father.” Yes, we, too, are going to the Father. Heaven is our final destination, our true home. Our journey to the Father is tough but not impossible, hard but bearable. And we are not alone. We have a mother, we have a queen, who travels with us and brings us safely home. Let us help each other on.

From Mary, we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary, we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God. Our Lady of Fatima loves you!

Think about this: “It’s nice to keep our feet on the ground, no matter how high we’ve come. After all, it’s not about the wealth and power we gained, but the legacy we leave behind that matters most in the end.”

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, teach us to be giving and forgiving. Amen.