This week in May as we celebrate the great Power of the Resurrection, we are drawn to that power lived and poured out in our mothers. Although Mother’s Day is a time to be joyful and thankful for our mothers, it can also be a time of grief and sadness. This is now our third Mother’s Day as a family without our mother and I know that our hearts are heavy. There are those who have not known the mother’s true nature of nurture, care, love and compassion. We also must celebrate the many women who may not have given physical birth but have truly functioned in the role of Motherhood.
This is a rich and deeply diverse day with many varied experiences of mother, but through it all we can celebrate and call forth three virtues I identify for our mothers, namely: Women of compassion, Women of Courage, and Women of Creation. In God’s loving care for us he gives us mothers to lead us to the way of loving.
In the Book of the Prophet Isaiah 49:15
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
The great love and care that we experience from God that is motherly, is God’s gift to us through our mothers. There is the great possibility of being opened to our becoming persons of great compassion as God is compassionate as we experience this compassion in our mothers.
For thus says the Lord: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river. and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed. On her sides shall you be carried, and dandled on her knees, as one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:12-13.
God pays a wonderful tribute to motherhood in Isaiah as He refers to His love for His children as “a mother’s love”. Jesus paid the same tribute to motherhood when He spoke of His concern and love for Jerusalem being typified by “a hen gathering her chicks under her wing.”
We see the great love of God through the tenderness and courage of mothers that at times face great challenges to be a mother, when its unpopular or difficult. It takes great courage to be a mother in our world today. In such an unstable society, where human life is reduced to a commodity, that can be bought, sold or discarded yet there are mothers who are still willing to trust God so as to share in God’s creation through their openness to be agents for life. The courageous woman who finds in life’s inconvenient moments, when plans change, they see the great power and gift of the person developing within them, not knowing yet trusting to say yes to God’s ability to move past the struggle and embrace with courage the gift of life.