May is the month when mothers are put on pedestals and showered with best wishes, gifts and tributes of appreciation and thanks. And this should be the time to reflect on the importance of motherhood for what is more difficult and honourable than bringing forth a human being into the world, raising it and helping it develop into a full-fledged unique person? I don’t think that people see the role of a mother as God has meant it to be. You see in these modern times of liberalism and feminism, pregnant women gracing the news and social pages usually half-naked contesting one another as to who has the sexiest “baby bump”; new mothers who pose with their newborns in their arms like they are the latest fashion accessories and then dumping them in the arms of hired nannies to pursue their own carreer and jetset lifestyle the moment they are out of public eyes; tv programs dishing out shows like “Teen Mom”, “Young and Engaged” and whatnots as if motherhood is just a by-product of your sex life; and kids being spoiled by their money and fame hungry parents with material comforts to compensate for their lack of attention and time; rich parents who juggle their kids from one broken marriage to another, or worse, unwed mothers dumping their unwanted babies and poor mothers selling their babies like commodities -the true role of motherhood has been neglected and thrown away as trash.
It’s now time to see motherhood in the right perspective. And the best way is to turn to God, the creator of all mankind; the Almighty God who created man and woman and united them as one family for the purpose of procreation, just as it is written in the Bible:
27So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:27-1:28).
And when God decided to send His very own Son to earth He chose a meek, humble and lowly virgin to take the ultimate role of Mother of God. He did not choose a famous or rich woman for the role. God gave us a perfect example of a mother – in the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here are important points to ponder on Mary, the perfect role of motherhood:
1. Humility and purity of heart – when Mary received the good news, she did not complain, nor did she become haughty and proud. She was at first shocked and bewildered but immediately accepted by saying: (Luke 1:38) “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”
2. Charity – during Mary’s pregnancy, she did not confine herself in her own precarious situation. Instead, she went, stayed with her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth, and assisted her during her labour.
3. Patience – when Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus was not in their company on their way home from church, they went back and searched for three days with faith and patience until they finally found Him in the temple.
4. Kindness – in the wedding banquet at Cana, once Mary learned that the hosts ran out of wine, she did not hesitate to inform Jesus. And instead of nagging Jesus when he said “Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come”, she kindly told the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:3-5). Jesus said His time has not yet come, but He loved and respected His mother and did what she expected Him to do. He performed His first public miracle by turning water into wine.
5. Faith and endurance – when Joseph and Mary went to the temple for the presentation of their infant, Jesus, a devout man, Simeon, prophesied about His destiny and told her about her heartaches. “And a sword will pierce your own soul too. “((Luke 2:22-40). And true enough, Mary saw her beloved Son being persecuted and put into death. She suffered these trials in silence. She followed her Son throughout His journey to death and was greatly rewarded with joy when He came back from death, stayed with her and His disciples until He ascended into heaven.
Mary shows us the true essence of motherhood – to be the silent force of the family, giving undivided support to the husband and child, giving the child full attention and love, instilling the moral and spiritual values through deeds and example. We should follow the example of Mary and Joseph. Let’s lead our children to the path of Christianity through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation.