From: T.M. Schoewe
In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the first national income tax law (which was the beginning of a big mistake and one that is growing bigger by the year), but he also signed legislation making the second Sunday in May “Mother’s Day,” which was not a mistake and is good for our nation. Mother’s Day has become in many churches quite a holy day and those churches that do not make room in their liturgy for mothers at least make an anouncement about it or hand out flowers in memory of our mothers. We would all do well to remember and pay tribute to our mothers, giving thanks to her who brought us into this life, and in some cases at the expense of her own; and for most of us, we should show our gratitude for her years of devoted attention, concern, help and prayers for us. Blessed indeed is the man who has a prospering and extended family.
Our Lord however has some strange and interesting remarks about mother. Turn to the gospel of Mark chapter 3 and note the last verses of that chapter. He is secluded in a house with a number of people when some in the crowd tell Him that His mother and brothers are outside the house, asking to see Him and maybe come in. He replies, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking and pointing His finger at those sitting around Him, He says “here are my mother and my brothers!” Then He adds “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
And you will remember, while hanging on the cross the Lord looked down upon His mother and John, the disciple who Jesus especially loved and who is standing beside Mary, and He says to His mother “woman, here is your son!” And He says to John, “Here is your mother!” (John 19:36 foll.). There from the cross He created a new family! This is what His real business in a way was all about, from when He was born and at the age of twelve in the temple when He told His mother, “He must be about His Father’s business,” which He did while walking the dusty streets of Palestine preaching “The kingdom of God is at hand!” This is what He is speaking about in the house and from the cross, and what opens the Kingdom of God for us.
From His last words in Matthew’s gospel, we are brought into this kingdom by Baptism. It is the kingdom in which we find not just men or women, sons and daughters, but all our brothers and sisters. Each of us finds we have a new self created in righteousness by the cross, but still have our old self that needs to be drowned each day. In this kingdom or new family there is only the rule of love. Some flowers or candy for mother is fine, but what is really called for here, is that our thoughts, words and deeds toward mother be permeated with kindness.
We conclude these thoughts with a quote from one of my reading friends Rodney Clapp. “Mother’s Day is a high holy day in many churches. Single people and those without children often feel out of place within churches because they are not part of the idealized nuclear family. We are truer to our faith when singles are every bit as welcome to our churches as family members. Singles no less than the married, are kingdom kin.” We are all just brothers and sisters; just children of God through the cross of Christ.
P.S. In addition to “Mother’s Day,” guess what else became official in 1913? Gideon Sunback patented the first zipper in April of that year. For that many mothers have been glad and it seems that all of us ought to try to invent something to help out our mothers before we are taken out of the land of the living. Work on it! Especially for your mother if she is still with us.