Hillary Clinton said in 2017 that “the future is female.” The Catholic Church, which venerates a woman as the greatest of all saints and heroes, would go a bit further, perhaps, in saying that the past, the present, and the future of humanity passes through the woman. Hillary Clinton, however, as a politician and a secular feminist, sees things primarily through the lens of power. The Church, too, when she is unfaithful to her Founder, also sees things through the lens of power. But the Church, when she is faithful to Christ, sees things through the lens of God’s love rather than the will to power. Mary is the Mother of the Church because she sought not power, as a woman, but love.
She was standing by the Cross of her Son when she received her supernatural motherhood: “Woman,” Jesus said as He hung dying, “behold your son.” Then, to John the Disciple, “Behold your mother.”
There are three levels of motherhood, as there are three of fatherhood: physical, spiritual, and supernatural. Many women are physical mothers, but all woman are made for spiritual motherhood as well, both to their own children (if they have some) but to all the children on the block. A mother’s heart beats in every woman’s breast, more sensitive to every person’s needs, with a burning love to care for the neediest. But there is also supernatural motherhood, to which consecrated virgins are called, such as the madres for whom I offered Mass today. In their cloister, hidden in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, these mothers bear and nurture new life on a supernatural plane. They do not seek power; they seek love, to receive it and give it back.
Jesus cried out from the Cross that He was “thirsty.” Thirsty for his mother’s milk, for love. And, standing beneath the Cross, she fed Him again. He asked her to feed now His mystical body, the great Mass of humanity for whom he died.
The future is female, indeed: not about power, but about sacrificial love. Only love creates. Everything less destroys. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!