6 Easter, Mother's Day

The Rev. Noel Bordador

I would like to greet all mothers a happy and blessed Mother’s Day!
            
Speaking of mothers, many people tell me that I look more like my mother than my father. People often comment that I look more Chinese than Filipino, and that is because my mom is a quarter Chinese. But it’s not just my looks that came from my mom. It is from her that I first received the gift of the Christian faith. It was she who instilled me a love and passion for God, and I probably would not have become a priest were it not for her. In fact, the vestment I wear is a gift from her for my ordination a few years ago. There are also certain good characteristics she passed on to me- like her depth of compassion for people who are suffering. Then, there are other personality traits I wish I did not inherit from her, like, for example, being too trusting of people, or even pride.  Though I am a person of my own, my body and soul partially, if not totally, reflect that of my mother (and for that matter, my father, too).  Children reflect somehow an approximate- if not a perfect image- of their parents.
            
We are all God’s children, and one of the cardinal teachings of our faith is that God created us in his image, and that we are all reflection of God. But what does that mean? In what way are we an image of God? In what way do we reflect God?
            
A theologian by the name of Karl Rahner once said that each human person is a “unique expression of God’s creative love.” God wills that each of us be born into this world, born out of his love for each of us. When I was young, I learned this song from my religion teacher in Catholic school, and the song stayed with me all these years, summing up for me the entire Christian truth: “Love it was that made us. And it was love that saved us. Love was God’s plan when he made man (sic). His divine nature is love. Born of God’s love we must love him. That’s why he made us to love him. And only when we love all men (sic) can we partake of God’s love.” The song says that it was out of love that God gave us life. And it was out of love that he saves us. God always act out of love because his nature is love. And when he created us, he meant for all of us to reflect his love. And so, to answer the question “In what way are we an image of God?”, to answer the question, “In what way do we reflect God?” we say the following. We are an image of this loving God when we ourselves show forth love and mercy in our actions. We reflect the image of this loving God when we ourselves show compassion and kindness to others. As that childhood song goes, only when we love people around us can we taste and glimpse the divine life we are to share with God at the end of time. I don’t know what heaven would be like or look like but this much we know from Scripture. It is a place where there will be no hate or injustice or lack of love. But, we need not wait for the end of the ages to have a foretaste of this heaven. When we love one another, when we practice mercy, when we act justly, then we have captured a piece of heaven here on earth.
            
In the Gospel today, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as a gift from the Father to us. So what is this gift like? What is this gift given for? Jesus speaks of this Gift as one who will teach all of us about God, allowing us to have a glimpse into the inner life of God. But, it is though this Spirit that we also become loving and kind and merciful just as our Father in heaven is loving, kind and merciful. As Saint Paul says in his letter to the Romans (5:5) : “…God’s love has been shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…” It is through this Spirit that God molds us into the very image of himself by making us be more loving, more just and peace loving. It is through the Spirit that we, the children of God, come to reflect and become the image of his loving Son, Jesus. He was not only divine but he is also fully human. And it is he who shows us what it means to be truly human. In him, we see our true selves. He mirrors to us what we're supposed to be. Like him who lived his earthly life in loving service of others, we are to image Jesus by living our lives not only for ourselves, but also for others. Like Jesus who showed mercy to other especially the vulnerable, likewise, we reflect his image if we also live compassionately. 

May others we meet and whose lives we touch see in us the reflection of God.