by Rhea Quemado, Program Associate for EPIC Ministry
May is the month of motherhood and the month in which we especially celebrate the motherhood of Mary. It was Mary who by her fiat or great “YES” became the Mother of God and assumed a special role in our lives, becoming our mother too. Not only is she a model of motherhood, but an inspirational figure to St. John Paul II’s famous term “The Feminine Genius.” According to St. John Paul II, the Feminine Genius includes the special qualities and capabilities that are inherent to womanhood, such as strength, gentleness, humility, beauty, intuition, fidelity, self-giving, acceptance, and receptivity. These are qualities that God calls us, especially women, to embrace. The Church sees in Mary the highest expression of the “feminine genius” and finds in her a source of constant inspiration.
When I was asked to do this reflection for the month of May, I felt challenged because I kept focusing on the aspects of motherhood, which I, myself, am not in that season. But I forgot about Mary’s role of being a servant to the mission through her motherhood to Christ and to us. Mary, by her obedience and faith, not only placed herself at God’s service, but also at the service of others, which was a service of love. In my present vocation, I am a Campus Minister at Chaminade University, Program Associate for EPIC, and a House Mom at the Mercy House, all of which I was called to for the service and love of others. Mary inspires me in her obedience to serving God. She reminds me that sometimes our “yes” may look different. Sometimes our “yes” is not only for a big decision; sometimes it's saying “yes” in the little decisions too. God utilized Mary’s desire, and her “yes”, to accept His will in her life, and sent her to communicate His loving plan for all of humanity. He does that with us too, utilizing us to communicate his will and his glory in whatever vocation we are presently called too.
God aligns our desires to his will. I love serving. I love ministering and supporting our young adults in college and our ministry in EPIC. Wherever you may be in your life, I pray that in this present moment, your will, like Mary, may align with God’s will and that you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Sometimes we don't have that one great “yes”. But every small “yes” we make every moment of every day leads us closer to doing God’s will.
by Yvonne Fukumoto, Finance Officer of EPIC Ministry
(Reposted from May 2021)
Motherhood teaches us everything we need to know about faith. Being a parent helps us to understand how God, our Father, relates to us. The innate emotions we have of love, frustration, and compassion for our kids, is the same way God feels about us, as His children. I have felt stressed and anxiety many times during my journey as mother and I have equally lifted numerous prayers to God because of my children. Being a mother challenges you in ways that you cannot study or prepare for, and of course, each child comes with difference experiences.
I came into motherhood with no real expectation at the age of 21. It was a surprise and a blessing as new parents to have our first baby girl, Maile, because she was extremely easygoing, and our lifestyle didn’t change much. Then we thought Maile needed a sibling and planned the birth our second baby girl, ‘Ōlena, who graced us with a lively personality that refreshed our lives. Just when we thought our family was complete, God surprised us with our last baby girl, Lehua, who is a bundle of energy that tested our patience.
My children bring joy and laughter into my life and their playful smiles always make my day. However, at the same time, they push me to my limits. Luckily, I am married to one of the best people I know, who has taught me from the beginning of our relationship, to “Have Faith”. Through the most difficult times, it may seem like you’ve had enough, but it is in these moments that we must turn to God and find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. I also find that connecting with other mothers in a community of faith and sharing in the joys and the pains of motherhood together helps keep your sanity in check.
My constant prayer to my children is that they not only be physically protected but also to build their own relationship and faith in God. I hope through our example as parents, they find peace, hope, and reassurance that God is with them. Motherhood and faith go together. I couldn’t do one without the other. You need faith in God to get through motherhood. Wine helps... But faith is essential.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Please continue praying for a complete and speedy recovery for Yvonne who has been in the ICU for five months now battling anti-NMDAR encephalitis, a rare neurological autoimmune disease.