Love one another as I have loved you.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

(Jn 15:12)

“You are like your mother.” I often hear people say. They may probably just say this because of my small stature, but I want to believe I am like my mother. Because she knows that LOVE is a choice, who knows no right place, no right time, for love is ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE. My mother knows that LOVE is to GIVE one’s life, to offer oneself for the beloved. LOVE is to BEAR FRUIT, a fruit that lasts.

Love is a CHOICE, no right time, no right place. It is shown not in the most beautiful words of “I love you” but in the very concrete action of care and concern, even that means sacrificing. My mother is a woman of few words. She knows well when to affirm or correct us. I remembered her disciplining us with firmness, allowing us to take the consequences of our actions and learn from it. Because of petty fights with my brother, one day, she beat us to let us understand the mistake we had made. She did not want us to simply follow her, or my father out of fear rather she wanted us to make a choice that our obedience should not be out of fear but out of love. Love is a choice. It is more than “I love you” but it is the ability of taking fear away and giving the children the right lessons in life. I admire my mother for teaching us the capacity to choose.

Love is to GIVE ONESELF. Mothers, in general, are capable of giving almost anything and everything for their children. Every food, every comfort, every praise, every single good thing for their children. Even the very piece of bread to be eaten, still kept in her bag is to be given to her children. “Isusubo na lang, ibibigay pa sa anak.” Most of my childhood friends have become mothers already. And to see them overjoyed with their children gives me a kind of awe and wonder for the gift of being a mother. Once, I heard from my mother, “dala ng paulit-ulit na dasal”. That’s my gift of vocation. The gift and outcome of her constant prayer. My mother gave not merely what comes from our needs to survive, or to be well, or to have a brighter future rather she gave far beyond words and hard work. She gave from her years of unceasing prayers. True enough, mothers do not have anything of their own. Their whole life is given, for their children. How can mothers not be disciples of Jesus with that great capacity of loving?

SENT TO BEAR FRUIT. This may sound questionable to us, religious. Because unlike our mothers, we do not “bear fruit”, literally. But our vow of chastity as CMT invites us to “go out of ourselves in order to give life” (Const no.12), in other words, to bear fruit. For us, loving is equated in life-giving. I may never become a mother who has given birth but I could be like a mother who gives light. (in Spanish “dar a luz”) To give hope and strength to those who are losing them, to listen to those who shout out from their hearts their desire to be loved. It invites me like any mother, capable of giving birth, making life alive. It invites me to be like my mother who has borne fruit and is constantly bearing fruit in her children.

Yes, I got the features and size of my mother because it’s in the genes and I accepted it willingly. But I choose to be “like my mother” in loving because she, like millions of mothers in the world, learned the teachings of Jesus, and they have followed his command of “love one another as I have loved you”.

On this special day of Mothers, I want to express my gratitude to Mommy, Mama, Nanay, Inay, Nay, Mom, Momshie, Madre, for giving us life and more. Thank you for being the very love you have been called to. HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!

“Reina del Carmelo” Community