Mother’s Day – Byzantine Rite – 14 May 2023


Today the Virgin stands in the church, / and with hosts of Saints, and
invisibly prays to God for us. / Angels worship with Hierarchs, / and
Apostles rejoice with Prophets, / for the Theotokos prays to the Preeternal God for us.

Reading from the Book of Psalm

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my
mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

~Chapter: 139, Verses:13-14

Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You
shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when
you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie
down, and when you rise.”

~Chapter: 6, Verses: 6–7

From the Gospel of Luke

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever

~Chapter: 1, Verses: 46-55


On Mother’s Day, let us acknowledge the truth that we have two mothers: our
earthly mother and our Heavenly Mother, Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Catholic Church proclaims the great nobility of the Mother of Jesus, Mary most Holy, and presents her as the supreme model for all mothers. Born into humble
surroundings, God called her to be the Mother of the Son of God. She
affirmed her obedience to the call of God, and she lived her vocation throughout
her entire life. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, is the true model of motherhood.

“It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty that mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest
sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine
penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement” (Pope Saint John
Paul II, Redemptoris Mater).

The month of May is traditionally the month of Mary. Through Mary, the work of
Motherhood is glorified and sanctified. On this Mother’s Day, presenting all
mothers on the altar, let us sing the beautiful song we sing on the Feast of the
Presentation, “Gentlewoman, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom, teach us to love.”
We must also celebrate those who are called mothers or titles similar that haven’t
given birth but fulfill this role in the lives of many. Sisters by blood or vocation take on the considerable responsibility of childrearing. It truly does take a village to raise a child.

So let us call upon Mary, Theotokos, to guide everyone who is called mother
today, to bless them with her grace, wisdom, patience, and love.

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