In order to promote the Winter Games 2014, one of the sponsors, Procter & Gamble, decided to produce today’s video entitled, “Thank you, Mom. Pick Them Back Up.” The video reminds us that courage and decisiveness aren’t self-made attitudes. Behind the scenes of the greatest of athletes were the greatest of moms.

The scenes are appealing – they make us smile, laugh, and sympathize with the original journeys of life such as walking the first time, falling the first time, getting scraped the first time. Perhaps it should remind us that a beautiful life isn’t one without scrapes or falls, a “self-made” one based on our efforts alone. Even on our path of conversion, how often do we pretend to do things on our own?  What is it in our interior that finds such innocent dependence, such human reliance, completely unacceptable when we are stronger and older?

Evidently, we are called to grow, to become more responsible and independent in many things. Still, on the  deepest level, we are always called to grow together, in communion with family and friends. What’s more, the idea of conversion without accepting our utter dependence on the grace of Christ, especially in the sacraments, is absurdly false. All this reminds us that the fact that our lives begin and are cultivated within a family is not a casual event.  Those first years of dependence are not only a stepping stone towards independence, but also a school in humility and communion in which we learn to grow stronger in our mutual dependence with others, and above all with God.

Perhaps today is a good moment to renew our thanks to the Lord and to all those who have accompanied us on our path. Perhaps it is an invitation to abandon the our illusions of self-made grandeur and allow others to truly accompany us on our path, in both hard times and good times.

Finally, how can we forget to think of our own spiritual mother, Mary. In his Wisdom, God deemed it fit that she be there to guide, teach and accompany the child Jesus’ growth with her immaculate heart. Let us, learn to do the same. Let us learn from the school of her maternal love, to cooperate with the grace of her son, and discover the greatness which is a life fulfilled in Christ.