Mothers as Ministers

   Recently I had a conversation with an acquaintance who is my elder.  She was trying to be very cordial.  We are both pro-life, and we broached that topic.  When I mentioned that I sometimes serve at our local crisis pregnancy center, she said, “Ooo!  My!  You are a minister!  You have a ministry!”
    Although I knew that she was trying to be kind, I was fuming inside.  I thought: “That’s so wrong!  I do NOT have a ministry because I leave the four walls of my home and serve strangers a couple measly hours per month.  I AM a minister, indeed.  But I am a minister because I am a mother!  My ministry is within my home!”
    Catholic mothers are ministers.
    1) We give our lives as sacrificial offerings to other people, out of love.  This is to reflect the sacrificial love of Christ.  Reflecting Christ is to be a minister.
    2) We bear the image of Christ in the Eucharist.  Just as Christ feeds us with his body and blood, so, too, do mothers feed others with our bodies and blood, both carrying children in utero and nursing our children.  Only mothers bear Christ’s image in this way.  Bearing the image of Christ is to be a minister.
    3) We are prophetic: we shine the saving light of Christ through family life.  Through our tending to our children, through rearing them and loving them, we say to the world, “Christian family life is a special path to God, an extraordinary way to heaven.  Come, follow Jesus.”  Our regular lives of laundry, changing diapers and carpooling is a form of evangelism.  To be an evangelist is to be a minister.
    Yes, I am a minister.  So are all the other Catholic mothers in the world.  We have important ministries.  We not only minister to our children, husbands, and other family members, but we pour prayers, love, and holy labor into the world each and every day.  Even the most private of our chores, even the most mundane of our tasks, can be a ministry to the world.  I do have a ministry.  I offer my vocation for the salvation of the world.