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5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER: JOHN 14: 1-12

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe
in God; believe also in me; in my Father’s house there are many dwelling
places.” Our lives have been affected in so many ways by this coronavirus
pandemic. We have been struggling to find ways to tolerate the stay at home
order. Our stress and anxieties are increased by the fear of coronavirus as
we see each day the numbers of confirmed positive cases and deaths from
COVID-19. We Catholics are finding it especially painful as we hunger and
thirst for the Holy Eucharist. With all the uncertainty, inconvenience and
economic impacts which we are facing at present, we wonder and ask
questions: To whom do we tell our fears? In what do we place our hope?
Where do we find refuge?

One thing is sure, Jesus understands all our fears and worries that we all
are experiencing at present. Jesus understands us not only because He is
divine and understands all things, but also because Jesus is a human and He
too experienced suffering, pain, loneliness and death on the cross. Let us
have deep faith and trust that Jesus will hears us and be with us in our
crises and struggles. As we look to respond to all that is happening around
us, I believe it is so important that we draw closer to God and to seek
God’s wisdom, comfort and strength. Let us try to be more compassionate and
understanding of those who are suffering or fearful. Let us be more
generous to help where we can and to share our faith with those who are
looking to God for answers and to courageously support our family and
friends during this global crisis.

For those of us who are struggling with frustrations and feelings of losing
our faith, Jesus’ words bring us comforting news and great assurance of
hope. This is a message of hope we need to hear again and again as we face
moments of darkness and doubt in our own life journey. We might wonder:
“During the sufferings and difficulties of life, how can we come to
experience such a deep and abiding peace in our lives and hearts?” The
answer is to believe that Jesus is the only one, who can bring us salvation
and true and lasting peace!

To experience such peace, we have to commit ourselves to God and seek God’s
love. Jesus promises a “dwelling place” in heaven, but first we must
experience and build that “dwelling place” here on earth at present! Let
us ask ourselves: “What kind of “dwelling places” are we making here? Are
we making dwelling places of loving families and peaceful communities?” Let us
build homes of peace, compassion, forgiveness, and love!

Let us have a strong faith and trust in Jesus that He is with us always and
He will provide us with what we most truly need. Jesus will give us the
strength we need to persevere in faith and He will guide us on the way,
even in the midst of pain, suffering, and darkness. Let us trust that Jesus
is the Light that pierces the darkness, that He strengthens and sustains
us, and that He will lead us to the light of a brighter day! We will move
through these challenges together, with God’s help!

Today, we celebrate Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day celebration always
gets us so excited and emotional because it is such a blessing to be a mom and
such a remarkable task to raise a child. We always remember our mothers’
sacrifices, commitments, and love for their children. Mother’s Day is going
to be a little different this year. Usually, Mother’s Day is celebrated
with family outings and get-togethers in homes accompanied by plenty of
hugs and kisses and gifts and flowers for the mothers. This year,
everything is different as the coronavirus pandemic restricts where we can
go and makes social distancing a new norm. But this does not mean Mother’s
Day has to be canceled this year. We still we can show and share our
respect, honor, love and affections to our mothers.

Recently, I read a real story about a mother’s sacrifice: A couple of years
ago, there was a terrific earthquake, which happened in Japan. After the
earthquake had destroyed everything, the rescuers reached a young woman’s
house; they saw her dead body through a broken window. Her body was leaning
forward and her two hands were supporting an object. With many
difficulties, the leader of the rescuing team put his hand in a narrow gap
on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman might
be still alive but she was dead. He and the rest of the team left this
house and went to search in the next collapsed building.

For some reason, the team leader thought that he wanted to go back to the
house of the dead woman. Again, he tried to put his hand through the
cracked wall. Suddenly, he screamed, “There is a child.” The whole team
worked together; carefully they removed the stones and bricks around the
dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a blanket under
his mother’s body. Obviously, the woman had made the ultimate sacrifice to
save her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover
to protect her son. After the rescue people opened the blanket, they saw a
cell phone inside. There was a text message on the screen, it said: “My
dear son, if you live, always remember that I love you!” This inspiring and
tearful story shows us a mother’s real love and sacrifice for her child. In
the world, a mother’s love is eternal… nothing can fulfill a mother’s
love in the entire universe. Our mothers never hesitate to sacrifice their lives
for the sake of their children… that is a mother’s love. We all love our
mothers!

Let us remember and pray for all our mothers, whether they are alive or
have gone to their eternal rewards. Motherhood is a noble vocation! The
month of May is traditionally the month of Mary. Through Mary, the work of
motherhood is glorified and sanctified. To our Blessed Mother and all our
mothers let us sing today: “Gentle mother, peaceful dove, teach us wisdom,
and teach us love!”