6th Sunday of Eastertide
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48
1 Jn 4:7-10
“You did not choose me: no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.”
As I am writing this, it is almost Mother’s Day here in Singapore, and I find it quite ironic that I should have this post coming out on Mother’s Day itself, having experienced (and still experiencing) a challenging week on the home front. I shan’t go into details on that, but suffice to say it has been one of those weeks when you ask yourself if your life will ever get back to normal again, when there is nothing left in the tank to give – having given everything and then some, when you just wish and pray that you could catch a break so that you could have five minutes to be in your own head, quietly.
As mothers, we are guilty of guilting ourselves, or letting other people guilt us. You think that everything that is not working with the kids and home has to do with something you did or didn’t do. All those parenting and home-making websites and books telling you if you want to raise children to be like this, do this. If you want your kids to sleep, do that. If you want them to have Einstein brains, do the other. And you try to catch up, try to meet the bar, running a race in your head, wondering whether your efforts are enough and how you are going to do all this within a finite number of hours in a day and with zero in the tank. And let’s not even talk about feeling appreciated! No one told us it could be such a thankless task; but there it is!
To all mothers out there, no matter your situation in life, or your challenges in raising your children, I may not be able to empathise with all your issues, but I can only say this — God hears you and sees you. And God loves you. He chose each of us out there to be mothers. He entrusted to us the little bundles of joy that He lovingly created to raise to become good men and women. He looked at us and into our hearts, and did not find us wanting. Even though we tell ourselves every day that we are not good enough, not fit enough, or smart or loving enough to be mothers, God does not believe that for one second. Because He made us and He chose us, not that we chose Him. Today’s reading says He appointed us – yes, to be mothers, for motherhood too, is a ministry. Our children’s roots start at home, with mothers. The values that we pass on to our children, the actions they want to imitate, their thoughts and words all start with us – mothers.
Even if we deem our children aren’t exactly ‘productive and worthy’ fruit of the vine, know this — when we send a prayer up to God, He will take all our days into account, all the love and tears that we have poured into our children when we thought that no one was looking, and He will send us the help and hope to sustain us in motherhood. Then will we praise God and have our hearts so filled with His love and tender mercy for us, that our testimonies will itself be the fruit of the vine.
Mothers, remember that God is love, and love is of God, as stated in today’s second reading. Everyone who loves, knows God. I think that as mothers, we are the embodiment of love, and God made that so, so that when our children wonder what God is like, all they need to do is look upon our faces and there He is – God’s love shining through the eyes that love them the most. And if like me, you are having one of those challenging weeks, look back into your children’s eyes when they smile and hug you, and right there, is God smiling back at us, reminding us that He too, loves us.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord, we pray for all the mothers in the world, that they will always be warm beacons of Your love for all our children. Grant them strength, courage and belief in themselves and You, especially when the going gets tough.
Thanksgiving: Lord, we give you thanks for choosing us to be mothers, even when we doubted ourselves. You saw us worthy and gave us a chance to raise our children to be worthy men and women. Thank you for accepting us and loving us, even when we are not perfect.