Eastertide: Day 35
Another of the many gifts that arrives this year during Eastertide is Mother's Day. What a beautiful idea, to stop for a day and just give thanks to the woman who raised you, to show her some appreciation and a give her a little attention.
But perhaps Mother's Day is painful for you. Maybe you didn't have a great relationship with your mother. Perhaps your mother is no longer here, and you miss her. Maybe you never met your mother. Or, maybe you struggle with infertility, and this holiday crushes you every time it rolls around because you long to be a mother.
Our human relationships are complex, aren't they? But no matter what your relationship is with your human mother, we can all give thanks today that we have another mother - the mother of Jesus, Mary, the Mother of God. It does seem incredible that, even though he was about to die for us, after hours of torture and suffering, Jesus still had the presence of mind to lift his head, just before the end, and say "to his mother, 'Dear woman, here is your son,' and to the disciple [John], 'Here is your mother.' " (John 19:26-27) These words of Jesus' have always signified that Jesus extended Mary's role as mother outward, to the entire world. She is not only the Mother of God, she is also our mother.
So, whatever your relationship with your earthly mother may be, we can each rest assured that we do have a perfect mother, who is always kind, interested, attentive and concerned about us personally. What a tremendous blessing Mary is. I have many faith-filled and wonderful nonCatholic friends who really struggle to understand the Catholic attachment to Mary, but I think that's because they over think it. Mary isn't God, so she never has to judge us. Instead, she is the perfect disciple of Jesus, so she can just love us, in that archetype of the mother who protects her children under her mantle. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how people can get through life without Mary's help. That seems to be such a difficult and lonely path, and it doesn't have to be.
My son gave me the statue above this year, for my Mother's Day gift. It's from the Willow Tree collection made by Demdaco, and is called "Mother and Son". He said it reminded him of a picture he and I took about 5 years ago, when he was still a young boy and I used to cuddle him under my arms. (He's now taller than me and does not appreciate hugs from Mom anymore.) He saved up his pennies to buy it for me and since he's too young to work, I know it took him a long time which makes this gift that much more precious to me.
The statue is also a perfect metaphor in clay for Mary's love. She is very close to us, bending low, holding us near her heart. Happy Mother's Day to all you moms!