My Mother’s Day lesson was so fabulous; I just have to share it with you! It didn’t come from a sermon, but it was in a book that I have been working on reading for several months. The place I picked up this morning was the place that the author spoke about the lesson from motherhood. Isn’t God amazing!
When I was a counselor, it became the norm to hear the woes of Mother’s Day by my patients in the weeks following the special weekend. I realize that I’m talking to people who may have had a similar dreadful experience trying to get more than is actually available from a day designated to honor Mother’s.
Personally, I’ve come to look at the day as a way to get out of doing the dishes, making up the bed or making meals for anyone and I love it! (This year, I even went as far as forcing the whole family to have a picnic outside much against their natural desires.) I’m blessed to be a mother and to have my mother and mother-in-law with me on these days, but I know it is hard for others. That is why I was thrilled for God to share the solution to all Mother’s Day pain in the picture of Jesus Christ as being our loving mother for Whom we can always remain grateful. I had never considered these thoughts before I read them from Julian of Norwich in the book The Revelation of Divine Love.
Julian of Norwich was a fourteenth-century English woman who became a recluse because of her desire to fully focus on God. Her fervent prayer was to know the suffering that Christ experienced on the cross. God answered this prayer in a near death illness during which she came to deeper understanding of God’s love for us. She spent many years meditating on what she experienced and wrote down her revelations to edify the church. She speaks of Jesus’ choices of love and compares them to the way a mother loves her child. She writes:
We realize that all our mothers bear us for pain and for dying, and what is that? But our true mother, Jesus—All-love—alone bears us for joy and for endless living, blessed may He be!
Hebrews 12: 2 says:
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus’ love for you is greater than even your mother. He too, went through atrocious suffering to bring about your spiritual birth. You can know no greater love than to think about the immense suffering and colossal joy that Jesus experienced when He birthed you into eternal life with the Father.
Next, she compares the ways our mothers fed us from their breasts. She writes:
A mother can give her child her milk to suck, but our precious Mother, Jesus, can feed us with Himself. He does so most courteously and most tenderly, with the Blessed Sacrament, which is the precious food of true life.
Isn’t that a beautiful thought! The spiritual food we receive from Jesus is the food of Himself, He is the Word, His body is represented in the sacraments.
Whether you had a glorious Mother’s Day, or your celebration was hampered by a loss, unfulfilled desire, or hurtful statements; you can always find a Mother’s love. Jesus held His arms wider than the best of mother’s arms when He stretched them out against he hard wood of the cross. You always have a reason to be grateful on Mother’s Day when you consider the reality of your spiritual birth.