The 2nd Sunday in May: Mother's Day
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land which the Lord your God will give you.
treating your parents with respect is an ancient commandment. When Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai, this commandment was also one of them. It must have been of great importance to God, because it comes ahead of these other important commandments:
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
Treating your parents with respect, honoring them, that is part of the ethical basis of an intact society. What is meant however, does not mean to award the father or the mother with a medal of honor. It means recognizing parents, both, within the family and in society as well. To treat them with dignity even when they have become old and frail.
On the 2nd Sunday in May, we traditionally celebrate Mother's Day. I still remember as a little boy I was always giving my mother a wonderfully fragrant lilac and a cake. Of course, everything was paid for by Dad, since I was missing the money.
In old age, my mother no longer needed a cake. She needed care. She needed the help of the family. And she needed appreciation in her dementia.
The two stamps from Austria and Hungary show two mothers with their small children. They are beautiful motifs. Happy mothers, happy children. Mothers who love their children. Children who love their mothers.
The love that connects parents with their children should be preserved for life. But this can only succeed if parents and children treat each other with respect. Even when the parents become a burden due to illness and disability.
In Jesus Christ, I can see this loving, respectful interaction with his mother. When he died on the cross of Golgotha, he said to his disciple John and his mother (Gospel of John 19:26):
“Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”
Jesus cares for his mother. He lays the burden of care onto the heart of one of his disciples. John does not hesitate but takes Jesus ‘mother into his home. He takes care of her. He will care for her in the same way, as he would for his own mother.
I would like to encourage you today to think anew about your relationship with your parents. How can the love for the mother, for the father be renewed? And when the relationship has broken down, can we build a bridge again? When mutual respect has been lost?
And if your parents are no longer alive, are there lonely mothers in your community or neighborhood who would be happy to receive a visit? A visit with a bouquet of flowers? Or an invitation for coffee with a beautiful cake? Maybe you open your home for a very special Mother's Day? Maybe you can make someone happy for just a short moment?
Thank you for listening to me. I cordially invite you to the next devotion with stamps on June 1. Until then, I wish you God's blessings and preservation in spirit, soul and body.