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I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.
Philippians 1: 3
Are the warmest word and the closest person on earth to all of us.
Today we celebrate mothering Sunday which falls on the 4th Sunday in lent 40 days before Easter. Centuries ago it was considered important for people to return to their homes and to their mother church from where they were working, so that all the families had a reunion with their families and the mother church once a year. So each year in the middle of Lent everyone would visit home as they were given leave to be with the family church.
As it was spring when the children were walking they used to pick wild flowers, daffodils and violets as gifts for their mothers and this became a tradition when the church in England declared as Mothering Sunday.
Later it turned out to be a remembrance of mothers who were mostly left in nursing homes and elder’s homes as some children had not seen their mothers for ages.
So here’s the time for all of us to say thank you to God for our mothers and mother figures.
Now let me remind you of the mothers in the bible from the early days.
Mothers in the Bible –
She was our first mother, and remains the mother of all living.
She was a mother because of a miracle at her old age.
Was the mother of Joseph who wore the multi colour coat. She was the first mother on record to lose her life in Child birth.
In other words the first Maternity Death following the birth of Benjamin
Mother of James and John was interested in her children’s eternal life. Very often we see the mothers, who ask for favours for their children in this world. But this Mother wanted more from Jesus.
A very righteous woman was the mother of John the Baptist.
Mother of Jesus a humble servant of God very submissive, and an obedient mother.
As we move away from the biblical era, I want to highlight to you great mothers to the world
Mother Earth – Our Common Mother
All of us call this earth our mother. Though we call by name some of us are not aware of the true meaning why we call this the mother earth. As most of us think these are only names I would like to explain why we call this amazing planet our mother earth.
Why do we call this earth the MOTHER?
She constantly feeds us with the produce from earth in abundance of paddy, corn maize and wheat which gives us our staple diet to the whole world. Then she nourishes us with vegetables fruits and nuts which provide our vitamins and minerals. She produces herbs in abundance to keep us healthy.
She gives us life giving water and sustains us with fresh air and breeze. It does not end here but our mother makes us so happy when we see all the birds, the animals, the flowers and natural environment making our worries disappear. When we see a tree with fruits or a pond filled with water lilies or listen to a bird sing and the ever changing colours of the sky our mental stress disappear. Isn’t it so wonderful to see this mother who provides everything for us everyday without fail? Even our earthly mothers cannot provide us our nourishment if this mother earth does not provide. So it is our responsibility not to destroy our Common Mother but help protect preserve and Nurture and do not let her die.
Mother of Mercy - Mother of Prayer
Blessed Virgin Mary
During this season of lent, Passion and Easter she is at the centre in our worship with our Lord Jesus Christ. She was the mother who always bore the highest pain. She faced the people with a teenage pregnancy but praised the Lord with the Magnificat , carrying baby Jesus in her womb. The pain she bore to deliver Jesus in a stable can we ever imagine as women? She lived with extreme fear of Herod but knew God would protect her and fled to Egypt as a refugee
She helped Jesus throughout his ministry and experienced the pain of seeing the most brutal punishment to his Son Jesus nailed to the cross. Jesus at the Cross did not forget her but gave him a son John to comfort her and care for her. Today she intercedes on behalf of us to God becoming a mother of Prayer to the world
We all Pray
Hail Mary, Full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed are the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death Amen
What a great relief when we pray to her to intercede on behalf of us. It is like running to your mother. Once an orphaned child told me Aunty you have an earthly mother but I always run to mother Mary as she is my heavenly mother and the only mother I have.
Mother Teresa – mother to orphans and destitute
She was a mother of Love and service to the world. Great calling moved by the Holy Spirit she became a mother to children whom no one wanted neither the state nor family. She was a true witness where many people were amazed to witness the love she had for Jesus Christ.
She quotes "Spread love everywhere you go let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
She was a mother of Sacrifice and Prayer. In her sayings she said that the most joyful time she experience is the time she kneels down and pray to Jesus and the secret of this immeasurable service.
She quotes “ All of us cannot do great things but we can do small things with great love.
Children your mother is a combination of all these characters. They nourishes, m sacrifice and pray for their children to God.
So as Children it is your responsibility when they are feeble remember who they were to you and thank God for them, do not abandon them. Today’s trend is mostly of children abroad they send money to parents to be looked after in homes but all what they want is Love and care and to see the faces of their children.
Once when I was in Canada a friend gave me a parcel to be delivered to her mother. When I reached the address she gave me I was shocked. Here was an old lady in an outside bed in the verandah. She could hardly see and both her legs were amputated with another old lady taking care of her. When I told her that I just returned from Canada she thought I was her daughter and I saw tears rolling down her cheek wetting her blouse. I comforted her and with deep dissatisfaction I left her and called my friend. Explaining all what I saw I told her. I made sure that she comes and visits her rather than sending money and parcels.
So remember the verse as St Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1: 2-3
I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you
Dr Lakmini Illangasinghe