There have been a number of events held this week at the College in anticipation of Mother’s Day this Sunday. These included the Regis Mothers’ Day Mass and morning tea on Tuesday, the first Friday Parent and Friends’ Mass and morning tea as well as the City-Country Mothers’ Lunch, both held earlier today.
In creating the sacred space for the celebration of the Eucharist in the Ramsay Hall on Tuesday, the Year 6 leaders from the Regis Campus articulated the following traits of their mothers for which they are grateful:
- Affectionate – Mums constantly affirm their love and affection, both verbally and through their behaviour. Thanks for being affectionate;
- Positive – Mums use positive reinforcement, they build self-esteem. Thanks for building me up when I needed it most;
- Skilful communicator – Mums are skilful communicators who encourage their child to express their feelings and listen with understanding. Thanks for trying to teach me to listen;
- Understanding – Mums show a general interest in all areas of their children’s lives and are always understanding. Thanks for teaching me how to care;
- Empathy – Mums teach us to have empathy by saying “I can understand why your sister made you upset,” or “I am sorry your friend made you so sad.” Thanks for teaching me how to care;
- Autonomy – Mums value their children’s emerging independence. Thanks for asking for my input when setting rules or goals;
- Compassion – Mums show kindness, they are caring and willing to help others. Thank you for teaching me to be thoughtful; and
- Love – Of all types of love, a mother’s love is the strongest. A mother’s love is unconditional and eternal. Thanks for teaching me how to love and relate to others.
Our mothers are the first person to love us, they love us from the first moment they become aware of our presence in their womb. From the moment we are born, our mothers teach us what it means to love and to be loved. In loving us, our mothers also teach us about the author and creator of all life as the first Letter of John says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them” (1 John 4:16).
Within our Christian tradition, we have the example of Mary, the mother of Jesus and the mother of the Church. Saint Ambrose of Milan was the first person to refer to Mary as the mother of the Church in the 4th century. In 1964, another former bishop of Milan, Saint Pope Paul VI declared Mary as the mother of the Church in closing the third session of the Second Vatican Council. In drawing upon the writings of St Ambrose, Saint Pope Paul VI referred to Mary as the Model of the Church in light of her faith, love and complete unity with Christ and Mother of the Church because she gave birth to Christ.
In 1987 Saint Pope John Paull II, in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater – Mother of the Redeemer about the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church, said the following:
Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church. In this sense Mary, Mother of the church, is also the Church’s model. Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks, the Church must draw “from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ”.
I hope many of you have the opportunity to gather this Sunday to honour and celebrate the gift of our mothers, grandmothers and the other significant women in our lives, including our sisters, aunts and friends. We also remember and pray for those whose mothers and grandmothers have died and for mothers who are struggling at this time, that they may they receive the support they need and be strengthened and consoled.
Finally, I thought I would share with you the final blessing prayed over our mothers at the Regis Mothers’ Day Mass,
Loving God, pour out your abundant grace and blessings upon these women who mother and care for their children. May each of them be strengthened according to their need and rejoice in your love and peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Wishing you all every blessing.