MANILA, May 12, 2014—In his homily Sunday (May 11), the “Feast of the Good Shepherd”, Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica rector Msgr. Nestor C. Cerbo pays tribute to the many mothers in his congregation, comparing them to the “Good Shepherd” in John 10:11-18.
“Mothers are uliran (exemplary)…They are special because of their inherent goodness. Today is a day we dedicate to them,” he said.
Cerbo added, often mothers “do not get credit for the good things they do”.
This reading describes Jesus Christ as the “Good Shepherd, who by dying on the Cross, lays down His life for His sheep”.
Cerbo used this Gospel parable to highlight the indispensable role mothers play in raising their children.
Motherhood is often referred to by many people—including mothers themselves—as “the most difficult profession of all” because of the various duties it entails, he explained.
Their selfless devotion to their children and their willingness to sacrifice everything for their sake are what make mothers like Christ, the Good Shepherd, the rector said.
But Cerbo noted that one does not have to be female, nor even give birth to blood children to deserve the title “mother”.
He grants that there are times when a mother, in the strict sense, can not be available, like the case of widowed husbands who, out of necessity, assume motherly responsibilities for their kids; big brothers and sisters who double as parents to their younger siblings; and people who become foster mothers to orphans.
Towards the end of his sermon, Cerbo asked all the mothers—and fathers, brothers, sisters, and anyone who act like mothers—in his audience to stand up and be acknowledged.
The whole cathedral exploded with the deafening applause of the faithful. (Raymond A. Sebastián)