WORDS of love are always welcome. Pets even preen when we scratch them behind their ears for they know they are loved. Cats purr and dogs close their eyes in pure joy.

I remember an old friend who would always end our phone conversations with, “Okay, goodnight, love you!” Remembering the elation I felt and the warmth which crept up to my ears, I know that I will not erase that memory from my mind.

Some of us may have been asked this question, “Will you miss me?” What happened when your answer was a straight look with a “Yes, I will!” Did you see the joy that lit his eyes when he realized that you meant what you said?

At one time when I sent off someone at the airport, I said, “Godspeed, take care, come home safe!” I was floored in silence when the answer given was, “I will take care… for you!” Of course, the feeling of being loved had me tongue-tied. These examples, of course, are daily happenings in some people’s lives.

Actually, there are many ways of letting a person know that his friendship matters. My Ayala Hiking Group know that when they call for me to join them, I will adjust my schedule, perhaps go to an early mass just to be with them, even if I can’t hike anymore. Since I certainly can still eat, I can be seen sitting with them, eating breakfast in any of their favorite hangouts. They know that they matter to me.

My Wednesday and Friday meditation groups are people I can greet with warmth and say, “love you” to, without feeling squeamish about it because they are people who matter to me too.

Most of us respond positively to words of love. You may just nudge us like a buddy, give us a public hug and let us know by a look, an arm around our shoulders that we matter. Love is a language that may not require words. How uplifting is the power of love!

Today is the great feast of our Mother of Perpetual Help. Now is not the time to think of petitions or of thanksgiving prayers. Now is the time to let your love flow towards Mother Mary as you say, “I am here Mother Mary because I’d like to keep you company. I just want to be in your presence!”

A mother always appreciates the presence of her children. I have daughters who in their younger years would slip quietly by my side when I am watching television. Slowly, a daughter would stretch herself on the sofa and lay her head on my lap. She would sometimes fall asleep on my lap. What a joy it was to savor her presence.

Today, these daughters have families of their own. When they came for a visit, we (mother and daughters only) would go to the nearest coffee shop to bond minus their families. We mothers are “pushovers” for bonding.

I’m sure Mother Mary would just be as happy to have us drop by for a visit without talking about problems, without asking for anything. Then after the visit, before we leave the church, a tiny wave, a flying kiss to Mother Mary so she knows that we came just to be with her!

Walk with the processions today but not with downcast eyes and solemn faces. Walk with heads held up high and joy on our faces because we are accompanying Mother Mary as she meets a lot of people along the route of the procession.

Love for Mother Mary, can be shown by emulating her simplicity, humility and steadfastness. Let me challenge you with the thought that everyone deserves the love of God. More often than not, God chooses certain people to be His hands and feet here on earth. What a lovely way it would be to end her feast day being God’s conduit of His love to people near you.

Can we be the seeds in the kingdom of God, as we grow into sturdy trees to bring about God’s kingdom without checking every now and then on how we are progressing? Can we just spread God’s word and God’s love without asking questions? God in His love for us and our Mother of Perpetual Help have always been more than generous, embracing all of us. There are thousands of us who, if we do our little bit of loving, can work wonders! Happy Fiesta!