Gospel Reflection for Sunday the 1st of May 2022
Third Sunday of Easter
To view the Gospel for Sunday please click here!
Today is the first day of the month of May. Do we Love Our Lady? Do we still bring her flowers? It’s common for little kids to give flowers to their mothers. You never did that? Not even a dandelion?
The fourth Commandment is the only one always associated with a promise: “Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you” and “whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure” (Sirach 3:4). So God wants us to honor Mary, it’s to our advantage to honor Mary, the scriptures tell us to honor Mary and deep down you still want to give yo mama a flawa.
But what flower does She want to receive? I remember as a kid when I gave my mom a bouquet consisting of two types of flowers: white dandelions and yellow dandelions. I thought they were beautiful so I gave them to my mom. I don’t remember exactly what her reaction was but I think she actually liked it (all mothers do). All mothers do because they see the love behind the weeds.
In some parts of Spain there is the Holy costume of giving each day a spiritual flower to Mary. At the end of the day one takes a moment of prayer, close to Her Immaculate Heart and with that warmth one considers what to give. The readings for today, the Third Sunday of Easter, are very helpful for this. There we see that Jesus is asking the very same things that the Virgin wants to receive from us, namely, love. Jesus asks Peter “do you love me”. Mary wants our love for Jesus.
Allow me to reflect a little more on the dandelion. The dandelion, as the first flower of a child to his mother, is a symbol of what Jesus and Mary want from us. They want, above all, to remove our sin: everything that impedes us from simplicity and childlike sincere love. “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart a clear conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Tim 1:5). “Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God”. Do I need to Kung fu my phone? Do I need to camp out by the confession box? Do I need to sharpen the knife for Matthew 5:30?
Not only do they want to remove our sin, Jesus and Mary want us to apostolate. They want us to bring the fish that we have caught (Jn 21:10). They want us to help catch fish, to catch believers into the living waters of grace. The dandelion is also a symbol of this. It is one of the most common weeds in the world. It is one of the most common because it is one of the weeds that knows best how to spread. The dandelion starts off yellow but when mature it becomes white. So too in the spiritual life when one matures one becomes white with wisdom and docile to the Holy Spirit like the second stage of the dandelion. It gives all that it is at the breath of the Spirit. Those who love Our Lady do apostolate for Her. They are docile to the Holy Spirit: they run when they are told to (Acts 8:30) just like here in the Gospel, where all go fishing because Peter is going. Notice the unity, notice the docility of the group to so slight a whisper.
Lastly it must be said that the most important apostolate is giving warmth to those who are close (cfr.Gal 6:10). What makes the dandelion beautiful is the love and warmth that’s behind it. Those who love Our Lady do apostolate to please Her and what most pleases Her Heart is the unity of the Family, the unity of your family. Not a juxtaposition, not a house, a home. When Her Heart is at the center of the house, it becomes a home. The church is our home. And where we are there is the Church. Mary wants to keep the Church warm with our efforts. How can we say “Come and see, come and see”, if our house is cold and tasteless. To invite others things have to be set up. We have to set up the fire and prepare the food. We have to give warmth to those who are closest: Your husband, when he comes home exhausted, your wife, when she has a bad hair day, your annoying little brother who wants to go for a puck when there is a project due tomorrow… We have to make breakfast. The first apostolate is always ihop.
The dandelion can remind us of three things: weeding up sin, propagating what is good and loving those who are close. These are just suggestions of spiritual flowers for Our Beautiful Mother, the Best of Mothers. What flowers are you going to give Her? You’re not even going to say a Rosary???
-Fr. René SHM