Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. I hope all mothers received the accolades and attention they richly deserve.
My mother was not always known to mince her words. A bit of a straight shooter really. She was not a big fan of the day but always wished her daughters and daughters-in-law all the best. There were 10 of them so it took a bit of effort to get around to them all, but she did.
Her point was that if Mother’s Day was about gratitude and recognition then that should be happening every day. She believed that children should know that their mothers were working hard for them 365 days a year, and that one day’s gratitude could never make up for a flawed sense of appreciation across the other days.
In other words, the more regular the expressions of gratitude are, the more authentic they can claim to be.
The Church has a particularly strong sense of appreciation for mother’s, as seen in its honouring of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
She is portrayed as nurturing… think of the reference in the gospel to Jesus’ growing up in Nazareth after the story of his being found preaching in the synagogue at 12 years old.
She is portrayed as steadfast... think of her staying with him as he hung on the cross.
She is portrayed as courageous… think of her taking the refugee road to Egypt after the slaughter of the first born by Herod.
She is portrayed as insightful, deeply knowing her son… think of the story of the Wedding of Cana.
These are some of the best human attributes of mothers, and the Church values them dearly as examples of excellence in mothering. By its own admission, it wants and needs to do more to include women in the running and flourishing of the Church at a local and global level.
As families and as a school, we would all do well to better know Jesus, to be courageous in living out his message to us, steadfast in the face of easier options and thereby nurturing of all those around us.
May the gratitude we show to our mothers on Mother’s Day be seen in how we act in our world on the other 364 days.
But, may we be truly thankful for all nurturing, steadfast, courageous and insightful mothers who make such a powerful contribution to our world by encouraging the growth of more and more good people.
I hope all mothers had a great day last Sunday and have 364 more until this time next year.
Vincent J Feeney