It’s appropriate that today’s mass readings are all about love. It’s Mother’s Day: a day that’s founded on love. And as John writes in the second reading, “love is from God.”

We can’t escape God. In fact most people who proclaim themselves atheists are just confused believers. If they love their mothers, they believe in God. If they love their brothers, they believe in God. They can say there’s no God all they want, but they have no choice but to love and be loved by God. As John also writes, “It’s not we who loved God, but God who loved us, and sent his son to expiate our sins.”

That includes the sins of pride and self righteousness in renouncing a God based on their confused idea of an old dude with a long white beard and flowing robes who sits at the world’s controls. God has no need to control us. He knew us before our mothers birthed us. We know him as our mothers raise us. He remains when our mothers depart.

My family and I visited my mother’s grave on this Mother’s Day. We trimmed the grass around her grave stone. We put flowers next to it. And God was there.