The Church has always supported and promoted motherhood, Bishop Richard Umbers told those gathered for the annual Pregnant Mothers Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on 18 November.
Each year the Church celebrates liturgically the conception and birth of both Our Lady and her son Jesus Christ, Bishop Umbers said, demonstrating the great role of motherhood in the divine plan.
“The Word was made flesh in the womb of Mary,” he said, and motherhood is something “natural” and “wondrous,” that is “wanted by God”.
Many expectant mothers and their families attended the Mass which is organised each year by the Sydney Archdiocese’s Life Marriage and Family Centre.
Bishop Umbers gave an individual blessing to all the pregnant mothers at the end of the Mass and they were each presented with a single rose.
In his homily Bishop Umbers said there was a “great spiritual connection” between mothers, the Church, and Mary the mother of Christ.
“In the case of being a mother, it’s a constant “yes”… continually saying yes to that call. The yes has to be renewed.”
He said motherhood was a “great undertaking” as the children entrusted to a mother will be dependent on her for “so many aspects of their lives”.
Bishop Umbers encouraged mothers to “continue saying yes to God” despite the many trials of life that even Our Lady had to endure.
“My own mother used to say life must have been so easy for Mary – she only had one child and it was God… But Mary had many trials.”
Mothers also play an enormous role in promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life, he said, similar to the way Mary kept the faith of the Church alive, especially after Christ’s crucifixion, when the apostles had fled in fear.
All mothers are called to play a similar role in the faith lives of their own children, he said.