By the Rev. Dr. Ed Hird
Mother Mary is the world’s most famous mother. Her son Jesus honoured her while being crucified by passing on the care of his mother to the Apostle John. In one of the seven last words from the cross, Jesus said: “Dear woman, behold your son, and to John: “Here is your mother.” What an amazing honour and privilege that Jesus was giving John: to look after his mother. How would you like to have been asked to look after the blessed Mother Mary?
Jesus, who loved the Bible, rooted his life in the Ten Commandments. At the heart of the Ten Commandments is the call to honour our mothers. To honour is to love, to value and to cherish. Mother’s Day reminds us that we need to honour our mothers 365 days a year, not just for 24 hours in May. The Good Book tells us that if we honour our mothers, everyone wins. Honouring our mothers even benefits ourselves by giving us a longer and better life.
Because Mother Mary was a widow, Jesus was especially concerned about protecting and providing for his mother. The Good book says that taking care of widows is at the heart of genuine religion. If we do not honour the widows in our family and community, our religion is nothing but an empty pretense. It is too easy for widows to be forgotten and discarded particularly when their health is failing and they become shut-ins. Perhaps Jesus at this moment is reminding you of a widow you know whom you need to give a call. Mother’s Day is a great time to let widowed mothers know that they are important parts of our community.
When Mary became a mother, she faced rejection and misunderstanding, even from her own fiancé Joseph. God had to speak to Joseph and tell him that everything was okay. It is never easy being a mother, especially in our current high-pressure culture. Children are too easily seen as an inconvenience and a financial burden. Mother Mary chose to sacrificially welcome her baby son Jesus into the world with her arms of love. Motherhood is a life of sacrificial love. Mothers love their children with a depth and passion, similar to how much Jesus loves each of us. Right before his crucifixion, Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives crying “How often I wished to take you into my arms like a mother hen would her chicks”. The well-known song by Mark Lowry includes the line: “Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water? Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?” This Mother’s Day, we can honour the Mother Mary for her courage in giving birth to the saviour of the world. We can also honour our own mothers who showed the courage to give birth to and raise us to adulthood. Thank you, Mom. We love you dearly. Where would we be without you?
The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin
-an article previously in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News
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