Today is Mothers’ Day. It is a day Catholics in Nigeria and indeed all over the world celebrate our heavenly Mother Mary and indeed all mothers. A day to remind mothers of the need to make Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary our role model. A day to also remember that we are the handmaids of the Lord and like our Mother Mary we ask for the will of the Lord to prevail in our lives as we emulate the virtues of humility, faith, purity, positive disposition and love.
Motherhood is a mystery and a miracle from God. Every woman is naturally endowed by God to play the role of a Mother to Children (whether biological or not) caring and nurturing them all the days of their lives. A mother is not meant to exist for herself alone, she is to live a selfless life, thinking more about the needs and happiness of other people.
Mothers’ Day is also a day to appreciate the ever increasing leadership role of mothers in the home, places of work, places of worship as well as community development. The saying that “the man builds the house but the woman makes the home” is apt. She is like the kitchen in the home, the power center for which all the inhabitants receive nourishment and direction. Proverbs Chapter 14 vs. 1 clearly states that a wise mother builds her home but a foolish mother tears the home apart with her own hands while Proverbs Chapter 31 vs 17 says that the virtuous woman is a hard worker, strong and industrious . She should be a mother to her husband and that of the whole family while counseling and defending them in love. Mothers should be seen as prayer “bank” to their children, praying for them and nourishing them with the word of God. Some schools of thought are of the opinion that Mothers are the best intercessors especially for their Children because they pray sincerely for the children and feel their pains and joys as well. The writers often asked that “if mothers do not pray for their children, who else will”? There are a lot of instances of children who are not reckoned with or who had been given up as failures, but through constant prayers by their mothers rose up to leave their footprints on the sands of time. For instance, the story of St. Monica’s fervent prayers changed her son, St. Augustine to be one of the greatest Saints in the history of the time and so many others that are happening in our lifetime. Looking into the Scriptures, 2nd Timothy chapter 1 vs. 5, Paul x-rayed how Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois interventions, prayers and directives made him a great man even from his childhood. Hannah through fervent prayers to God raised a prophet like Samuel. Mothers must learn to cross the impossible bridges through prayers.
We must also appreciate the efforts of some mothers who were never mothers in the biological sense, like Mother Theresa and Mother Angelica and some of our unknown great mothers, who see children as blessings from God — feed the poor, help the needy, nurtured them with milk of human kindness (spiritual food).
Unfortunately, many mothers today have turned their backs on Godly virtues. In their wild pursuit for material things, they are being blindfolded by ambitions and quest for positions in politics. This should not be so, no position in the society should warrant a mother to play down on her God — assigned responsibilities in the family. Some people even trace the root of critical insecurity condition in Nigeria today as the failures of families especially mothers in bringing up their children. Many mothers do not monitor sufficiently the relationships their children keep, overlooking the indecent clothes worn by their children, vulgar languages being spoken by them and other social vices.
However Moses in the book of Deut. 31:21, told the people of Israel to be strong. Thus all we need as mothers, as Catholic women is strength of character, Godliness and living a prayerful life Being a mother is a Sacrificial duty assigned to us by God.
Give it all it takes!!!!
Happy Mothers’ Day!!!!
(LADY ) ANTHONJA MBAKWE OBI (JP)
Wrote from St. Mark’s Parish, Owerri