Today's readings use images of mothers and fathers, both painful and loving. The first reading poses the famous rhetorical question, "Could a mother forget her child?" While we would like to tell ourselves "Of course not", we know that the answer is yes. Each day around the world children are abandoned by their parents or worse. While the news would have us focus on sexual abuse of minors by priests, the vast majority of children abused in our world are abused by those much closer to them, parents and other relative and family friends. Most of this abuse will never be reported or even spoken of.
The wounds inflicted on these children, often invisible to the eye, are deepened by the fact that they are inflicted by those whom the child innately trusted. They leave the victim feeling isolated from the world.
There are those who will say that nothing can heal these wounds. If that is true, then the gospel is a lie. The good news of Jesus Christ is that with God all things are possible. In the gospel today we are reminded not only of the unity between Jesus and God, his father, but also of the loving father we have in God. As brothers and sisters in Christ we have the perfect mother, the blessed virgin Mary. For the Christian, these are not simply pious platitudes, but real relationships. No matter how dysfunctional our biological family may be these readings remind us that we are part of another family, and there is no limit to the power of God's love.