The Queen of the House

On May 9th in the United States we celebrated Mother’s Day. This celebration, as we know, is on the second Sunday of the month of May. In Mexico and Latin America it is on May 10th, and it is celebrated on that day even if it is on a weekday. In Mexico the celebration begins the night before with music and flowers. The young high school students agree to bring the music with whatever equipment they can find—a speaker or the stereo of a car or truck belonging to one of the parents of a student— and the party begins.

During the next day families begin to prepare meals to celebrate the Queen of the House. If there is enough money, her children and her husband take her to a restaurant for lunch and then take a walk to enjoy the day as a family. If the mother has already passed away, flowers are brought to the cemetery to decorate the grave. Also, it’s usual for the family to get together to prepare the mother’s favorite food and eat it in her honor.

Unfortunately, last year’s celebrations were not very good. The pandemic hit the world, and the family economy was affected by the lack of work. Restaurants weren’t open, families could not meet, and cemeteries remained closed. There were no family visits, there were no flowers, and the students did not come out to bring music.

This past Mother’s Day was a little better. Restaurants began to open with security measures, flowers were available to buy, and cemeteries opened their doors to those who wanted to visit the graves of deceased mothers. There were restrictions; however, families could bring flowers, and many who were already vaccinated were able to be together again, thank God!

Personally, I feel a great admiration for my mother. She was an exemplary woman with a strong character. She never allowed herself to be overcome, no matter how strong the storms in her life were. She fought until the last moment of her life for her children. I remember that even though she had lost her sight, before going to sleep she would tell me to turn off the light. One time I didn’t turn it off to see what she would do. I could see her raise a fragile hand, tired from the dialysis treatment in the hospital and from having half her body paralyzed by a variety of strokes. She still raised her hand to bless her children—who live in this country and in Mexico—without us seeing her. That’s why she asked me to turn off the light. It was a moment for her to be with God. Her request was for privacy, since I slept in her room in order to take care of her.

You have probably noticed that I often mention my mother’s sayings in my pastoral letters and at some point in my sermons. I do it because my mother has not died for me. She still lives in my heart. One day we will meet in heaven, and I will hug her again.

You may or may not know that, although I am a man, I am actually a feminist. I strongly defend the rights of women and have great respect for them. We are all children of women. Also, our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to be born of a woman. He cared for His own mother, the Virgin Mary. When He was ready to return to His father, He did not want to leave her helpless. He entrusted her to John, His apostle whom He loved so much, to take care of her.

In Cristo Vive (my church in Mexico) and in San José First Church, the Hispanic congregation is made up of 90 percent women. These are mothers of families, who come to these places with their children to pray and praise God, like I did with my mother.

My final reflection is that we should celebrate our mothers and all women in general. They are the most beautiful thing that God has created, and we must respect, empower and love them. May God bless the woman, the Queen of the House.

Pastor Gerardo Vázquez

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