Also known as Mothering Sunday
It is particularly appropriate today to remember the humility and faithfulness shown by Mary, the mother of Jesus. She stood by her Son throughout his life, giving us an example of parental love. We remember also at this time the sacrificial love of Jesus, a love faithful even to death. There is a cost to love. Love is trusting and self-giving. Jesus himself said: ‘No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ (John 15:13). Saints and martyrs are witness to this, and we are encouraged to put the needs of others before our own, following their example.
What can this mean for us here and now? The experience of Lockdown has filled some of us with anxiety, indignation, frustration or impatience. Have we been considering how much worse it must have been for people with little access to medical help, to safe food and water, to shelter. St Paul wrote: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4). During Lent we ask forgiveness for our self-centredness, and for help in giving more of ourselves to God and to others. When we follow guidelines for wearing face masks or for social distancing, we are acting as much to protect others as ourselves, but might we also offer our time, perhaps by phoning the lonely or frightened during the pandemic, or make donations for the needy or the oppressed. This prayer might help us:
Loving God, we give you thanks for our mothers and for all who have cared for us,
who have encouraged us and helped us grow, who have forgiven us, and cared for us
when we were unwell, who have supported us when times were hard,
who have challenged us, who have told us about you.
Thank you, Lord, and help us to show to others
some of the love we have so richly received.