Mother’s Day! A celebration that takes place almost all around our planet! This celebration goes back in time, for instance the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration. Then again, the way that it is celebrated today was officially established in 1908.
But that’s history. The importance is that we dedicate a special day for that special person who carried us for 9 months and somehow she still carries us throughout the years, if she is still on earth. There are good mothers and bad mothers, sane mothers and insane ones. No matter who they are and what they do, they are/were still a unique person in our life.
I am privileged to have still my mom around even if I see her not often, as we live in different countries but we talk a lot on the phone and if she desires we can see each other on Skype and so the distance is irrelevant at this moment. I love my mom and I do acknowledge that she is not perfect and that we have our ups and downs but always we had this special connection that even in moments of quarrelling we could not stay mad to each other more than few minutes or hours! There is no perfect mother. They are human beings and they were influenced also from their parents especially the role model who was their mom. They went through difficulties, tragedies, breakdowns and especially the generation of my mom, through world war, civil war, dictatorship, finance recessions, sicknesses etc. Even in moments of conflict between us, I always remember that no matter what happened in her life, she has tried her best as a mom and she is a human with strengths and weaknesses, like I am. So, no reason to idolise her but just accept her as she is, love her and appreciate all she tried to do.
There is a mother in the Bible who represents for a lot of people the mother model. The truth is that we do not know much about her. We do not know her daily life. We just assume that she had a Jewish woman’s normal daily life as we know it through archaeological findings, writings and evidences.
Unfortunately, in some Christian communities teachers, preachers and members do not talk much – if not at all – about this woman, who was a faithful woman and she was a mother! There is a fear that if we teach about her, a cult of worshiping the mother of God will start as happened in other churches than giving the worship and glory only to God –Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I believe that we ought to refer to this woman as we refer to other saints, as Rebecca, Ester, John, Peter etc. Of course, I speak about Mary the mother of Jesus!
She was a faithful woman – please read the relevant article A Faithful Woman – and she was a loyal, understanding and all human mother. Let’s see few things we know about her through the Gospel of Lucas. There are a lot of traditions around Mary but I prefer to stay with what the Bible says.
“Blessed [is] she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
We see how Mary, when in Elizabeth’s company, remained faithful to the Lord and believed in her heart that the Messiah was to come, no matter her difficulties in a community of a strict law and especially as she knew no man! Who could believe her? Would you? Still, as she remained in faith, without complaining, the Lord favored her and brought people in her life who believed her, who supported her. She did not refuse her child but she remained a loyal mother since the beginning. She had no plans to neglect her child or to forsake him.
“So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Then she travelled all the way to participate in the census, without complaining or refusing to do her duties because she was pregnant. The Lord still favored her by helping her to give birth in a safe, warm place even if she could not access a hospital or a mid-wife. I believe that her faith alone opened the ways to favor and a safe birth. God, the Father, knew – of course – exactly who was that woman who could become a strong, faithful, loyal and protective mother!
Normal life – we assume – followed after Jesus birth. Till he became 12 yrs old, there is no other reference about his life and their family life, except things like where they lived and what kind of business the father was in.
When he became 12 yrs old, his parents lost him during their return from the Passover celebration in Jerusalem and when eventually they found him, he was in the temple and he responded:
“And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.”
I find it fascinated how Mary reacted. She reacted as a normal mother; she was anxious and upset as we read in Luke 2v48 “and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” We can clearly understand that Mary and Joseph were typical parents showing great concern about their children, fearing the worse and speaking as normal parents…”why have you done this to us?” How many mothers, before Mary and after her, have asked the same question!
The most fascinating part is that “she kept all these things in her heart”. I believe that this action of Mary is evidence of her faith in God and her son. She acted as a mother by “shouting” to him but in her heart she knew the mission of her son. She trusted him. She stayed silence in her heart and observed him growing and becoming His Father’s Son. She had already lived through great miracles knowing that more were on the way.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the [wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”
The whole life of Jesus on earth reminds me a Greek Tragedy but at least, with a good ending. Still, just before the good news, the worst came! Mary had to see her son crucified, dead and buried. What a pain for a mother, a mother who kept all in her heart, a mother who believed him before anyone else, a mother who went all the way for her son.
We do not know how the daily life of this mother and her son’s were; how their relationship grew in time; if they quarrel time to time. What we know is that when the disciples, out of fear, abandoned their Lord, she remained faithful and under the cross!
What a mother!
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