St Joseph Church, Pinole - Pastor's Messages

Pastor's Messages from Father Geoffrey Baraan



My dear friends in Christ,

In the gospel today we are commanded to “love one another the way God has loved us!”

 To love one another this way is not a request but a command.

What is the meaning of this? Perhaps this involves sacrifice to the point even when it is not convenient. Personally I saw this kind of love in the life of my mother.

The unconditional love of my mother for us is my great inspiration in my priesthood. My mother is very sacrificing, giving and loving. She did everything for us growing up. Her life was focused on us!  My brothers and sisters are so blessed to have a mother of whose self-giving love has made us her children appreciate life every day!

My mother continues to live this sacrificing kind of love: “For the highest expression of love is to give oneself without regard to self-wellbeing so that others may experience the fullness of life!”

Jesus without regard to self, gave himself up on the cross for the salvation of all! It is a redeeming and transforming act of love-----revealing to us God’s unconditional love!

This weekend we honor our mothers! They are not perfect but they are sent to us by our God to care and to nourish us! We are thankful for their love, dedication and their many sacrifices. We will continue to pray for them. Our mothers have so many challenges and trials especially during this time of Covid pandemic. They have their own share of darkness and pain and struggles! We need to do our part in making it easier for them. Remember the commandment: Honor your father, honor your mother! How do we do this?

First, we need to show respect for them. When we respect our mothers, God will bless our homes. 

Second, love her unconditionally! We should not qualify our love for her with expectations and conditions.

Third, forgive her compassionately! As I said, they are not perfect. They make mistakes.

Fourth, treat her kindly! Let her know that she is valued.

 Fifth, remember her with gratitude! Thank her for what she did when you were young. But do not let it end there. Make room for her in your busy schedule!  

I would like to share with you this piece, Favorite Child by Erma Bombeck!

Every mother has a favorite child. She cannot help it. She is only human. I have mine----the child for whom I feel a special closeness, with whom I share a love that that no one else could possibly understand.

My favorite child is the one who was too sick to eat ice cream at his birthday party……who has measles at Christmas…...who wore leg braces to bed because he toed in……who had a fever in the middle of the night, the asthma attack, the child in my arms at the emergency ward.

My favorite child spent Christmas alone away from the family, was stranded after the game with a gas tank on E, lost the money for his class ring.

My favorite child is the one who messed up the piano recital, misspelled COMMITTEE in a spelling bee, ran the wrong way with football, and had his bike stolen because he was careless.

My favorite child is the one I punished for lying, grounded for insensitivity to the other’s feelings, and informed he was a royal pain to the entire family.

My favorite child always needed a haircut, had hair that wouldn’t curl, and no date on Saturday night. My favorite child was vulnerable, lonely, unsure of what he was doing in this world-----quite wonderful.

ALL MOTHERS have their favorite child. It always the same one: the one who needs you at the moment, who needs you for whatever reason----to cling to, to shout at, to hurt, to hug, to flatter, to reverse charges to, to unload on------but mostly just to be there.

Today we thank God for our mothers, for their unconditional love and undying devotion to us-----their children and who is willing to die every day so that we might live. There was an ancient proverb that says, “God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers.”



Fr. Geoffrey

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