The Journey 132
Read: John 19: 25-27
Tomorrow is Mother’s day. A day when home’s, the church’s the family all have special functions, gatherings and celebrations to honour the mother in the family. But has these celebrations done any good to the concept of motherhood? Looking back into history we will understand how far we have moved away from the cause for which people had observed mother’s day. It was in 1914 that Mother’s Day was proclaimed in US as an official holiday, by President Woodrow Wilson. This was because of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, who wanted to do something so that she could honor the social activism of her own mother. Her mother had founded Mothers’ Day Work Clubs, which raised money to supply medicine for the sick, provided help for mothers who were suffering from tuberculosis, and also volunteered to work as nurse for the wounded soldiers. But later, Anna Jarvis, was disappointed that Mother’s Day had become a day of celebration where only a card was exchanged and so she protested against the commercialization of mother’s day. She remarked that “Mother’s day has become a “Hallmark” holiday and nothing more, I wanted it to be a day of sentiment and value, not profit”. According to her “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world, And candy! You take a box to your Mother—and then eat most of it yourself” Jarvis explained.” Anna Jarvis’s protests took a heavy toll of her life. She went to the courts to stop a Mother’s Day event in 1923 and once she also went to jail for rallying against the sale of flowers on mother’s day. But Mother’s Day continued to grow in popularity. Anna Jarvis spent her considerable inheritance in this losing battle, and finally she died in 1948, blind, penniless and alone. A person who began the concept of mother’s day with lot of meaning and purpose, but ultimately the “worldly elements” took over and commercialized it. Isn't this true also in our celebration of mother’s day today? Celebrations are meaningful when the expression of sentiments like love and thanks are expressed more than the giving of cards, flowers and gifts. Let not the sentiment for the mother end in a card or a flower. That is when the individual like a mother feels that she is valued and cared for by a generation whom she raised.
This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in our personal life”. The portion that I would like to meditate is from John 19: 25-27. Here is a poignant portion where Jesus while dying on the cross sees his mother standing at the foot of cross, bearing the painful sight of her son dying. At that moment Jesus tells one of the most beautiful words. He looks to John and tells him “ Behold your mother” and looking at Mary, He says “ Behold your son”. Even when Jesus was dying, he did not relieve himself from the responsibility of the earthly son. He understands the need of His widowed mother and asks John to take care of her as his own mother. Here is Jesus explicitly teaching us that whatever be our age, and whatever be our life experience, the children have a moral obligation to take care of the needs and well being of their parents especially one’s mother. For that to happen we need to understand and value the presence and the role of our mother. It is when we don't realize that value of one’s mother, that we often make our celebration of mother’s day just another ritual of giving cards or flowers to her to go along with the crowd. Transformation is all about recognizing the person, affirming the person and consciously sacrificing so that her needs are taken care of and person feels valued and loved.
“I feel what my mother needs most is the sense of being valued and loved”. That Is how we need to celebrate mother’s day and not mothers’ day.