A Tribute to Mothers
A Mother’s Love, God’s Love!
It is not a coincidence that the bible puts side by side a mother’s love for her children and God’s love. Just read this passage from the prophet Isaiah (49:14): “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast or fail to cherish the son of her womb? Yet even if she forgets, I will never forget you.” In this passage, the prophet emphatically describes the love a mother has for her child: a love that never forgets her children no matter the situation; no matter what the children might do or how they turn out. And should it ever happen that a mother forgets the child of her womb, (which is a sign she could be sick) God says he never will forget any of us, his children. Because mothers are the embodiment of love and care for their children, as opposed to the authoritative discipline of fathers, some persons feel more comfortable calling God Mother rather than Father. Others who feel the love of their Dad more are comfortable with God as a loving, protective and caring Father. It doesn’t really matter which one you are comfortable with. What is outstanding, however, is that the scripture uses a mother’s unconditional, sacrificial and undying love for her children to describe God’s nurturing and caring heart. In many ways, we can all relate to our mothers’ capacity to endure, suffer and give of herself completely for the sake of her children. Mothers are so protective of their children and always want the best for them. Above all, they worry a lot about their children. They may receive insults, rejection and abuse from their children; but that will not stop them from loving their children. The rules they impose on their growing children are not really restrictive but protective: they do not want their children to be hurt. Some children rebel against their mothers because they do not see their mother’s love. The day any child sees and understands the pain and worry that mothers feel because of their love for their children, that very day, every child will rise up in gratitude to God and to their mother for a gift as rare as their own mother! It is only love for her children, the father of her children and her family that drives everything a mother does and enables her to endure many deprivations and sacrifices that form part of being a mother. If only we the children would appreciate this deepest love of our mothers for us! How would we appreciate it if we didn’t take time to see it?
In the same way, we hear that God is love (I Jn. 4:8). And how do we know? We know this because God gave His only Son to die for us, reconcile us to God, and show us the way back to the Father. Jesus emptied himself of his glory and took the form of a servant and died a humiliating death on the cross (Phil. 2:6-11). God holds nothing back in loving us, His children, just as mothers do not hold anything back in loving their children. A mother is so protective of her children, even by instinct. You can multiply a mother’s love for her children millions of times, and it will not even describe fully God’s unconditional love for us. That is why He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ as concrete evidence!
As we celebrate Mothers’ Day, may we pray for our mothers and appreciate their pure love for us, their children. It is God’s will for all of us as children of our Mothers. May God bless you as you do so. Amen.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY
~Fr. Cornelius Okeke