Reassuring Love of a Mother
(John 17: 20-26)
The Rev. Leonard Oakes
In the name of the One true God who is Love.
I love the Gospel lesson today. (Let’s read it altogether). If we read between the lines and the construction of the Gospel reading according to St. John, we will see the persistent petition of our Lord Jesus Christ asking God the Father to grant peace and unity among his disciples and his people so that in doing they will also be one with him just as he and the father are one. Yes, even to the very end of his earthly journey, just before he ascended to heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ’s concern is always been the unity of God’s people. He knew that when he will be away from their sight, there will be doubts in his disciple’s hearts of his being the Son of God who came and dwell with them, crucified died and was buried for their sins and rose again from the dead so that they may also become partakers of that everlasting life. Now he is ready to ascend into heaven to sit on the right hand of God, yet he assured his disciples that he will come again in the end of times. This is the creed that we always recite during the service. This reading assures us of the love of Christ who promised to come back in the end of times and that he will go and prepare a place for us in heaven so that where he is, we may be also. He displayed the attribute of a loving God and a loving mother who before leaving the house, would assure a child that everything will be alright and that in due time will come back again and be with them. Jesus exemplified the love of a mother who would always pray to God for her family to be safe and trustworthy while he is away. I miss a mother who is reassuring. Before a mother leaves for work, or when a mother takes you to school, she always reassures you that everything will be alright. She prepares all our needs, our food, our books, making sure we are done with our homework, giving us comfort and making us feel at peace in the world around us even when she will only be away for a while. Thank God for mothers like you. You are the best gift God has ever made. God knows best what the world needs. Behind every good leader is a great mother.
Aboard United flight 1489 from Houston to San Francisco, I overheard a one year old boy crying continuously just about 6 isles before me. The mother did everything to pacify the child by giving him milk, pacifier and rubbing his back but the crying continued. I saw the mother stood up and carried her child to her bosom, his head pressed against her shoulder. I looked at the boy’s eyes, they were slowly closing as his mother dances him around and whisper a song while occasionally locking her legs when turbulence happens. I thought, I miss my mom doing that to me when i was a child. But not my sister who would scare me of a ghost so I could sweat a lot until I fall sleep, or an aunt who would spank me on my buttock and tell me to keep quiet and sleep. Mother’s love is unconditional.
I remember my mom telling me that while she was carrying me on her womb, she had to cross a flooded street amidst a pouring rain just to be at her business store and ready to meet her customers. When I was born, she had to carry me at her back every day from home to her store of about 1/2 a mile then carry me again on her way home. My dad then would come home late from work. I asked myself, did i greet my mom lately and tell her I am thankful of all the love and sacrifices she gave me? Did i send her something to buy something for herself? I should do that now, there’s no time to procrastinate. I want her to feel I love her so much and that I miss her.
Last Monday, the family of one of the victims of the limousine Fire at the San Mateo Bridge that took the lives of 5 young women, 4 of them are mothers, asked me to do a prayer vigil in Castro Valley. As I passed by the site at the bridge, I saw a remnant of the fire and immediately a flashback came alive of what I saw on TV where the limousine trunk was engulfed with fire trapping those at the back, trying to squeeze themselves on that small window that leads to the driver’s seat but were unable to escape. I said my prayers as I drove by. I met the family and a 6 years old boy who said to me, “I wish there is time machine that would take my mom back” I thought about the other young children whose mothers were victims of the fire. We circled so closed with each other, lit a candle, sung songs, prayed and offered words of memories of their loved ones. The husband of the other victim remarked, “She was a great mother and a friend. Now I will have to carry her task though I know she will always be there.”
A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.” The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.” He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.” She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave. The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.
After receiving and giving flowers to our living mothers today, will you also stop at the graveyard and offer a flower to your departed love ones?
My dear mothers in God, as I always tell you, I may not fully know what you are going through in your life, but let me tell you that I will walk that way with you if you will let me. I will keep you company in prayer until we both see what life has in wait for us. And as we walk I will remind you that we have many rugged roads in life that are common. We’ve been through this many times and in many changes. We’ve learned our lessons and we have the wisdom to think it through, the courage to do what must be done, the faith to know that there is love at the end of our rope. We may not know what is yet to happen, but we do know that we are not alone. We can walk together. We can walk with God by our side.
Let me say these again to all mothers, grandmothers and those who take the role of a mother, thank you!! We love you and will care for you just as you cared for us. May you have more strength to share your love and you always be surrounded with joy and peace. Let us be the one to reaasure also that we love and care for you.
To all of us, will you turn to a mother or grandmother next to you and say, “I love you and thank you!” “Let’s give a loud round of applause to all mothers!” Amen.