Katie (Krag) Bartindale ‘82 and Ellen (Bartindale) Castellini ‘12

This reading reminds us that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus, but there are many ways that we come to know Jesus. On this Mother’s Day, we are delighted to offer a reflection together as mother and daughter.

We remember today that Mary, Our Lady, is a bridge to her Son and that our own earthly mothers likewise give guidance toward a relationship with Jesus. Our mothers prepared a place for us in the house of the Lord in so many ways. They created our homes to be homes that pray, that ask the Lord for grace and hope, that seek relationships through the sacraments, Bible study, and reflections on the saints. We were both lucky enough to have mothers who brought us to the Notre Dame campus so many times that we felt at home under the dome, around the lakes, at the Grotto, and in the Basilica. We learned early in life the importance of empathy, service, and generosity to the least of our brothers and sisters. Our mothers modeled the unconditional love that the Lord Jesus has for all of us by the love they showered on us.

When Ellen and Tim were expecting their first baby, they lived in an 875 square foot apartment. The only place for a crib was a small storage closet right outside the bedroom. Together with their parents, they prepared a place for this little one: moving shelves, painting walls, removing the door, and decorating a special little nook to welcome Clare. The closet became a space for the next generation to grow and learn to rejoice in being children of the light.

Now, when the light is sometimes very hard to see, we must cling to the first verse in this passage, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” The call to fearlessness among his people is the Lord’s most frequent exhortation, appearing over 350 times in different versions throughout Scripture. Today, together with our mothers, both far and near, let us cling to his call to be brave in the face of the unknown. Our faith in Jesus is greater than any worldly fear because it does not ignore our anxiety and worry but overcomes it, and it reminds us we are daily saved and sheltered in the palm of his hand.