Unfortunately, the College is unable to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, in the same way as we have done for the past seven years. This is extremely disappointing. I would put this event up there as one of the great losses coming out of the COVID-19 social isolation. Our Mother’s Day Mass and Breakfast has become a rich part of the College’s tradition in a very short time. From humble beginnings, this event has grown. In our first year, in 2012, we were joined by about fifteen mums and their sons, to last year where it was estimated we had 200 mums, grand mums and carers in motherhood roles join their boys in a gathering in that numbered in excess of 400 people for Mass and breakfast. The Mass, traditionally held in the Chapel with breakfast being enjoyed in the College Hall, has to be put on hold, but we didn’t want to lose this great occasion totally.
I read this little ditty which I think sums up mums and the job they do perfectly. ‘Mum: a title just above Queen.’ I reflected on the mothers in my life, obviously my own, my mother in law, my wife and now my daughter and daughter in law, all of whom are beautiful special mothers. This brought me to ponder the celebration of Mother’s Day, which by and large is a worldwide phenomenon. I especially reflect on the greatness of my own mother who was left to bring up six boys aged between 6 and 15 years of age on her own, showing great courage and resilience in doing so.
The special day to honor mothers and mothering is a part of every major tradition, culture and Nation. I’m sure this is because we know instinctively the wonder, miracle and gift of mothers and mothering. They give us life, they love us and they know us intimately. I am sure that many mothers could relate to the reality of Jeremiah 1:5 within their heart and soul: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” They nurture us through a network of relationships which gives life meaning. Through their wisdom, example and practical experience they teach us, they pick us up when we fall and they love us unconditionally.
The job of a mother is complex and I think all mothers can relate to this complexity and even the idea of the messiness. There are no instructions or rules that apply to all babies or children or family situations, there are no guarantees that what they do will work out and have a positive outcome. Indeed mothering is an act of faith, born out of the great love women have for their children.
Mothers will endure times of great pain as well as joy, shed tears as well as enjoy great laughter. More often than not mothers have to park their egos and be humble as they endure the myriad of onlookers ready to judge and label. I invite all mothers to rejoice in the job that they do, the compassion they demonstrate and the love that they bear as quite literally we wouldn’t exist without them.
I would like us all to also remember the women in the world who have tried but have not been blessed with bringing a child into this world or who sadder still, have lost a child. Their lives have been left a little hollower, and at this time of the year they are reminded of their sadness and emptiness.
I have listed my ’10 Top Reasons Why Mums are Great’. I encourage you all to come up with your own top 10 list as there are thousands of reasons why mums are great.
10 Reasons Why Mums are Great
- They love you unconditionally.
- Mums always know what to say and what NOT to say
- Their hugs are unbeatable.
- They ALWAYS have that one recipe that you need… memorized.
- They know everything about us, sometimes before we do.
- They are great nurses when you are sick.
- There is always something good to eat in their fridge.
- Mums are the ultimate cheerleaders.
- Mums are mums to every child in the neighborhood, especially your mates.
- They provide a very efficient and cheap taxi service
- They pray for you. A LOT. (Oops that’s one extra)
I’m sure we could all add to this list and come up with hundreds of more reasons to argue why mums are so great. During this week I set the challenge for all in the community to do this, and then to tell mum why she is so great. If possible, give her the biggest hug you can muster and tell her that you love her, because I don’t think we can ever do this too much. Have a great week and perhaps do something special for mum to let her know how special you think she is.
To finish, here are a few quotes about mums to contemplate, as well as a reading from the Bible which tell us how special mums are.
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” – Jill Churchill
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” – Honoré de Balzac
“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.” – Agatha Christie, “The Last Séance”
To conclude I use this special reference: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as it sums up the love a mother has for her children.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all.