The month of May is always well celebrated. Both the secular and the sacred collide and the preacher is again torn between two salient themes. This is especially true on the second Sunday of May, whereby we extend sincere appreciation to myriad of women who brought life to the world and on the 6th Sunday of Easter, even if church attendance has gone disappointingly low, sort of, business as usual, still celebrate the triumph of Christ, our Lord, the author of new life. Easter is a way of giving birth from the pain of betrayal, denial and the cross to being transformed into Christ. To be a mother isn’t only about bearing but also learning the pain, suffering and the joys of raising a child. The love of a mother then is a classic example of God’s love. This is where I begin to see the deep connection between the sacred theme of Easter and Motherhood.
The Gospel is a continuation of Jesus’ farewell discourse, which apparently brings to mind loss and separation. While we normally don’t like goodbyes, past experiences and memories of being left behind perhaps, to a childcare center, on the first day of school, break up in a relationship, end of a business contract, moving out and death of a beloved, to name a few, certainly will cast a shadow.
As soon as news about my transfer spread, I have constantly received dinner invitations, sentiments of deep esteem and prayerful regards from school parents, parishioners and friends and humbly felt the magnitude of their love. It didn’t take me much time to infer that such kind words and gestures were expressions of sadness about the impending departure of their Priest. When someone who became part of your life is leaving, anxiety, fear of the unknown and troubling heart uncontrollably come into play.
That’s why Jesus guaranteed the disciples with over a lifetime warranty, that the Holy Spirit will be with them as the continuing sign of the presence of God. Many people thought that the eventual cessation of conflict and the avoidance of argument meant peace but it’s more than that in actual fact. It is rather the sense of calm, serenity of heart and the tranquility of mind and soul that constitute the peace the Spirit brings. I wish the art and craft of sermon operates like a frozen microwaveable meal but no, it’s time-consuming and kernels of divine wisdom come only after drowning the text in prayer.
Talk about commercialism, the celebration of Mother’s day is one of the biggest in the land where people spend millions in greeting cards, presents, meals and flowers. One possible reason for such a high regard on the occasion is that Motherhood is known to be a great example of nurture and paragon of love & care, in moments of despair, isolation, dissatisfaction and failure. Mother’s Day forms part and touches the deepest truths of our faith.
The good Lord reminds us that regardless of our social profile, the gift of motherhood, which I, as a representative of the church and a Spiritual father, share the humble privilege of providing peace to those who have desperately yearned for it. We pray that motherhood not only rest on mothers but to every one of us. May this love inspire us as we struggle to make God’s love real for ourselves, for our families, but for those who have been deprived. Amen.