Of the many titles of Mary, mother is the most beloved and the most privileged. It is in the mother’s womb that God begins to work out the divine design for each of us. As the psalmist prays, “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (PS. 139: 13-14).

Recently two mothers caught our national attention and united our deeply divided nation. On Tuesday, April 16th, Barbara Bush died. She was remembered for her wit and works and for celebrating her role as wife and mother. That same week Senator Tammy Duckworth made history by bringing her 10-day old infant to the Senate floor so she could participate in a vote. Facilitated by a recent rule change, the appearance of mother and child occasioned bipartisan congratulations. May the example of Mary and of other loving mothers remind us that we are all brothers and sisters and that we must end the high-stakes sibling rivalry of violence and intolerance among individuals and nations.