“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” –Abraham Lincoln
Today is a chance for me to salute all the mothers in our parish! Is there any greater symbol of love on this earth than a mother tenderly holding her child? I do not envy mothers having to give birth to a child. I am not sure that we men could handle that pain. What we don’t fully comprehend, however, is that bond between mother and the child that she carried within her for 9 months. I am not sure if there is any human love stronger than this.
I have to admit that I am a classic “Momma’s boy,” being the only son and the oldest, with five sisters who follow me. When I think of what love is, and who has loved me best in this life, I immediately think of my mother. When I think of what God’s love must be like, the closest image for me is the unconditional love of my mother.
God chose to become one like us by entering Mary’s womb. Clearly God put a lot of thought into who would be a worthy mother for his Son. Of all the possibilities, God chose someone who was of humble means and background, just a teenager of 15 or 16 years of age, but so rich in faith and so full of love. Christ spent 30 years with her before setting off on his mission to preach the gospel. Who would have marked his life more than her? It might be fair to say that Jesus was also a Momma’s boy.
Yet the medieval English mystic, Julian of Norwich, went so far as to connect Christ himself to motherhood. As she put it, “Jesus Christ therefore, who himself overcame evil with good, is our true Mother. We received our ‘Being’ from him and this is where his Maternity starts. And with it comes the gentle Protection and Guard of Love which will never cease to surround us.”
Today is a chance for all of us to give thanks for our mothers, whether they are still with us or are now watching over us from heaven. On behalf of all of us men at Holy Redeemer, thank you, holy women, for your most noble vocation as mothers. Just having to give birth should merit a free pass to heaven! But it’s everything that follows that matters most: expressing unconditional love on a daily basis that never stops to count the cost. You are another Christ on earth.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Yours in Christ,