Today is Mothers’ Day.
And Facebook and social media are awash with greetings for mothers. There is a veritable avalanche of paeans and acclamations for all mothers. There is a massive deluge of gratitude, appreciation and undying love from both their guilty and guiltless children. And thus it should be. without our mothers, we wouldn’t even be here.
I would like to sing praises to three other Mothers today.
The first is Mother Earth. We all suckled at her breasts which have been bountiful to feed us all. And yet we have thrashed and abused her. There are some children who do the same thing to their biological or adopted mothers. But in this case, most if not all of us have practically abandoned Mother Earth. She also likes her bouquet of flowers today, special presents to show she is appreciated. I just wonder how many have remembered to do that.
That Mother Earth is always with us is shown in our undying love and longing for the Motherland. This is the second mother I would like to celebrate today. I reside in the US where different people from different lands have chosen to settle. And yet in almost all of them, there is this abiding, deep-seated longing to eventually come home – to the Motherland. They keep their native traditions. They visit whenever they can. And most are hoping to eventually go back home.
Science tells me that all the cells in my body are replaced every seven years. I have lived in the US for ten years now. There is no cell in me that was made in the Philippines. All my cells are now made in the US. And yet, there is a deep longing in me to come home or at least visit the Motherland regularly and often. That is because there are some exceptional cells that are never replaced. We are born and we die with the same brain cells. And these cells are the repository of memories, emotions and my sense of personhood. I can leave the Motherland but the motherland will forever be in my mind.
Have you ever thought of God as Mother? As in God the Mother? Pray the ‘Our Father’ a little bit more mindfully today, specially the second part which is mostly a list of petitions.
“Give us this day . . . .” Sure Daddy brings home the bacon but Mommy bakes the bread. She cooks the meals and makes the house a home. In some families, Mommy brings home the bacon and the bread. Isn’t that image closer to what we would imagine God to be?
“And forgive us our trespasses . . . .” We will fail and commit mistakes in life. When we have failed and are down, isn’t it Mama whom we call out to automatically? And when we have grievously sinned, who is the first person who would be ready to forgive us and take us back? Again, isn’t this the image we often have of God?
“And lead us not into temptation . . . .” All of us remember Mom endlessly telling us “Do this!” “Don’t do that!” We learned our manners mainly from Mom. It was Mom who taught us to say “Thank you.” If only for this, mothers have a special place even in God’s heart.
“But deliver us from evil . . . .” Nothing is more poignant than the Pieta. A mother will hold back nothing for her children. She will give up everything, even her own life, for their sake. Like the obedient son of the Father, mothers will take up the cross and be nailed on it for the sake of the children. Isn’t this the love story we also have with God? God the Mother!