Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mary Mother of Jesus Catholic Community 4th Sunday of Easter/Mother’s Day Homily May 10, 2014/ Kathryn Shea, ARCWP Candidate

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought we might explore the divine feminine and what that means to each of us in our spiritual development.  If you are like me, you grew up, regardless of your identified religion, envisioning God sitting on a cloud somewhere high above.  This God was clearly male, old, with a beard, and not necessarily friendly.  The “fear of God” was felt much stronger than the “love of God.”   To this day, I can still clearly pull up that image in my head.  But, I try not to.  In recent years, I have been replacing this image of God with a feminine image; a peaceful, gentle, kind, loving, accepting image, much like we see in many portraits of Mary.  At first, it was a little scary to imagine God in this way.  Years of indoctrination can have a powerful hold.  I waited for the lightening strike, but only found a rainbow. 
For thousands of years monotheistic religions have held up masculine images of God the Father for the religious to relate to.  The Father God rules over humankind and has great power to move mountains or destroy the Earth.   His expectations are high, and at times unreachable.  We were told we were born in sin and it felt as if no matter what we did to repent, it was never good enough.
I believe for many of us that day is over.  As Jesus says in our Gospel reading today, “they simply will not follow strangers- they will flee from them because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”  The old image of God the Father, and the patriarchal voices coming from the Vatican denouncing the equality of women has become a stranger, whose voice we no longer recognize.   
What would that be like if we were able to envision a Mother God and a Father God in unison?  What might have happened if the Goddess had been the default image for humanity?  How different might the world be if for thousands of years we held the image of the divine mother nurturing ALL humanity (not just a chosen few) instead of a patriarchal God who rewards or punishes our behavior?
I believe the Divine is both. 
What if we were able to carry with us always in our mind’s eye, the always-affirming mother-father God?  The unconditionally loving mother-father God?  The one that sees us and accepts us as we are, originally blessed, the living light of God?
How would our prayers change?  How would our world change?  How do we begin to re-birth the City of God where the Divine Feminine and Sacred Masculine is common language, not merely accepted, but embraced and taught to our children?
I read one suggestion I really like and encourage you to do for yourselves.  Create your own God icon.  Draw it, build it, illustrate it in some way other than words and carry your inner god/goddess with you at all times.  Call upon it, bless it, talk to it, and give thanks to your new Spirit Divine.    
As we go forth on this eve of Mother’s Day, let us embrace our earthly mothers and fathers, as well as our spiritual ones.  If we follow our own hearts, and our own new vision of the enlightened and renewed City of God, we will give it voice and we will see the true face of God, the one that continually says, “I came that you might have life, and have it to the full.”

And now we want to celebrate those who have and now are moving us closer to our vision - Slide show

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