Mother's Day
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by Ronan Scully

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and is an extraordinary day for all of us to honour our mothers who have blessed us with the gift of life and have supported us in so many ways, oftentimes unacknowledged.

It is a day to honor them for who they are, to praise them for their many great qualities and to express appreciation for all that they do. Even though we have the fear and worry of the Coronavirus for another Mother’s Day all around us and indeed the worry of the war in Ukraine where millions of mothers are carrying their children across the border in the hope of been safe, it’s a time to give our love to the most precious creation of God – our Mother!  No matter how, please do it. For those whose mothers and grandmothers are still alive cherish them today. Hug and kiss them. Honor them. Thank them. For those whose mothers have gone home to the Lord, remember them. Each year we pause to think about our mothers and those who have shaped our lives.  We give thanks to God and share memories as we think about our mothers who have gone before us.  We give thanks to God and reach out in love to our mothers who are in our lives today.  We give thanks to God and celebrate those who, like mothers, have shaped us.  We give thanks to God and celebrate those who are mothers, or like mothers, to the ones we love. Our mother’s gave us life and birthed us into the network of relationships which gives that life meaning, the family. They taught and nurtured us on the way, by offering wisdom, example and practical experience. They picked us up when we fell and unconditionally loved us back when we strayed. There is no-one like a mother, no substitute for her place, no equal to her love and placement in our own formation and is an ongoing relationship of love and care. All through our lives we love to put our heads in the lap of our mothers, unmindful of our status, position and standing. For her, we will always remain the small child, but this is the day to visit our Mother if we can, spend time with her and reassure her of our love and care. Mother’s Day is a great reason to honor your mother and express gratitude for all the hugs, cuddles, kisses and lullabies she has endowed upon you. Mothers bear the hardships and the joys in bringing up a child. A Mother is the epitome of love, serenity and forgiveness. Mother’s Day holds great significance for all of us. It’s that time of the year to let your mother know that no one loves her more than her own children. It’s a time to be grateful to your mother who’s mainly the most loving, kind-hearted, understanding and caring person in your life. So this weekend celebrate Mother’s Day and have a beautiful time on this day as much as you can, considering the situation of the coronavirus in our midst.  As usual a story might help us understand better.

Creation of Mothers
When God was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair! And six pairs of hands.” The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.” It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.” That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded. One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows! Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he or she goofs up and says. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.” God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….” I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburgers…and can get a four year old to stand under a shower.” The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed. But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.” Can it think?” Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said God. Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.” It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.” “What’s it for?” “It’s for joy, love, kindness, sadness, empathy, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.” “You are a genius,” said the angel. Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”

Mother Magnificat
In reflecting on Mothers Day, we acknowledge and celebrate mothers and mothering. I make that distinction because I know that many people – sisters, aunts, step parents, guardians and close family friends, fulfill the chief mothering role in families. We think about how children and mothers who have been forcibly separated through government policy, war, or natural disaster are feeling. We think about how women and children affected by domestic violence are feeling. But hopefully we do more than think. We pray, we speak out and up for mothers and women everywhere. We are inspired by no less than Our Blessed Mother Mary. In the Magnificat, Mary imagines a world that reflects the face of God’s love and compassion, where all are fed and every hurt is removed, and where a strong light is thrown on the face of human degradation and suffering. This is a different image of Our Blessed Mother Mary from the often romanticised view of her as forever patient and suffering. It is a cry for justice. Mothers are the backbone of our society and the glue that holds a family together and their work is vital but often unseen. We all need to show greater appreciation for them. Mothers should be proud to be mothers. It is a God-given task and privilege. Actually there is a mother’s heart in every woman, whether married or single. A true mother thinks day and night about the well-being of her children, and is the first to praise, comfort and protect them. She is willing to sacrifice her life for them and she continues to carry the child in her heart her whole life. Motherhood is a mystery. It is something truly divine for which every human heart longs. This is why mothers provide the most powerful influence on a child’s life, and are the most important role models for positive change in our society. When anyone is in trouble, or knows that they are dying, the first person they think of is their mother. When children start going the wrong ways a mother’s prayer is powerful. Mothers remind us that there is a loving God above us who will take good care of everyone. Whenever a tragedy occurs no matter where in the world this happens, you will always find mothers both weeping for the dead and bringing comfort and security to the living. They often struggle under the most difficult circumstances. They are the real heroes of the family and not just on Mother’s Day but all year through.

A Mother’s Day Prayer
A lovely prayer that I like to pray about mothers and now in these worrying times more than ever goes as follows, “Let us praise those mothers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. Let us praise those mothers who, lacking a good model for a mother, have worked to become a good mother.  Let us praise those mothers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. Let us pray for those mothers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children. Let us praise those mothers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children’s lives. Let us praise those mothers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing.  Let us praise those mothers who, as stepmothers, freely choose the obligation of motherhood and earned their step children’s love and respect. Let us praise those mothers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart. Let us praise those women who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own. Let us praise those women who have “mothered” us in their role as mentors, guardians and guides.  Let us praise those women who are about to become mothers; may they openly delight in their children.  And let us praise those mothers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.”

Thought for the week
As a final thought, even if we have great worries all around us at present, make your Mother feel the most special woman in the world by showing your care, love and affection, especially during these our most worrying times. Most of all let your Mother know how much you love her not just for Mothers Day but for all time. Spend as much time as you can loving and caring for the people who truly love you. Enjoy each moment with them before it’s too late. There is nothing more important than family, especially during this time of . uncertainty and anxiety!!! Make your mother and the mother of your children feel the most special woman in the world by showing your care, love and affection. Most of all let your mother know how much you love her, for life is short and time is running out. Most of us have been blessed by a mother or someone like a mother in our lives.  Mother’s Day is a time to pause, remember, give thanks to God, and share our gratitude with those who have shaped us.  And, let them know you love them and thank God for them. A very Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mother’s both living here on earth and those who, like Jesus, have been lifted up from the earth, forever to be with us in our hearts.  For all of them mothers by blood, mothers by heart a special blessing on this Mother’s Day, Blessing our Mothers, who are our first sanctuary. Who fashion a space of blessing with their own being: with the belly, the bone and the blood or, if not with these, then with the durable heart that offers itself to break and grow wide, to gather itself around another as refuge, as home. Who lean into the wonder and terror of loving what they can hold but cannot contain. Who remain in some part of themselves always awake, a corner of consciousness keeping perpetual vigil. Who knows that the story is what endures, is what binds us, is what runs deeper even than blood and so they spin them in celebration of what abides and benediction on what remains: a simple gladness that latches onto us and graces us on our way. Loving God, we thank you for the love of the mothers you have given us whose love is so precious it can never be measured, whose patience seems to have no end. May we see your loving hand behind them and guide them. We pray for those mothers who fear they will run out of love or time or patience. We ask you to bless them with your own special love. In this time of pandemic, our prayers today also encompass mothers both here and around the world who have woken to a very different Mother’s Day. We remember mothers and grandmothers who have the virus or are sick in any way and for their worried families.  We remember mothers and grandmothers isolated today and unable to celebrate with their children and for their families who miss them. We remember mothers struggling to feed their children and keep them safe, especially those in refugee camps and poorer areas of our world. We remember mothers or children estranged from each other and not knowing how to heal the hurt. We remember mothers with newly born children who do not have the support of family and friends at this time. We remember women who long for motherhood but are unable to bear children.  We remember mothers grieving the loss of children. We remember mothers trapped in abusive situations struggling to keep the peace and shield their children from harm. We remember mothers stretched and stressed, fatigued and fraught but still smiling and giving, tending and loving. For all these Mothers and more today, we bow to you, we celebrate you, we love you, we thank you and we pray for you. We ask this in the name of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother Mary. Our mothers, parents & grandparents always minded us and minded us so well during our life’s journey so far. Now it’s our time to stand up, to MIND THEM. Keep well and keep safe and look out for one another, especially our elderly and those with underlying health conditions and keep helping and supporting our wonderful nurses, doctors, gardai, emergency workers, first responders, defence forces, volunteers and front line staff during these worrying times. Amen

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