SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2014.
HOW DO WE TREAT OUR MOTHERS?
‘…Woman, behold thy son…son, behold thy mother,’ Jh 19:26-27.
AS Christians all over the world today celebrate the Mothering Sunday in honour of our mothers, one critical question that should not elude God’s people is: how do we treat our mothers? Mothers bear the brunt of the family and do so with joy and commitment. Sometimes, life may not have been too fair to most of them because those that are supposed to attend to them often fail them at critical moments. We hope this year’s celebration will re-awaken the consciences of people, both Christians and non-Christians alike to adore and provide for mothers.
Before Jesus paid the supreme price on the cross of Calvary, He had time to think deeply about His earthly mother Mary, her welfare, joy and sustenance. This led Him to hand over the mother to a trusted and beloved disciple named John. Yes, this event is one of the major highlights during the seven words on the cross but it goes beyond the cross particularly, as we weigh the import against this occasion of the Mothering Sunday.
Our attitude to mothers is very essential and Jesus’ action to His mother quietly teaches us to appreciate our mothers. By using John, it becomes an archetypal of an imagery that suggests that people ought to look after mothers in all ramifications. What is a home or society without a mother? The Bible speaks adoringly of her: ‘she seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet,’ Prov. 31:13-21.
Two recent events, although in the negative, brought out clearly some painful treatment being meted to our mothers. First was an action by a vigilante group in a section of Nigeria, where it was reported that a woman and her two daughters stole pepper in the market. One is not too happy that this woman and the two daughters were involved in stealing pepper, maybe to reveal their poverty level. But one is greatly disturbed by what followed as a form of punishment. The woman and her two daughters had pepper inserted into their private parts and one of the daughters died as a result of such mindless action. One may ask, is that a good way to handle our mothers?
Secondly, in the same country, a cultist was reported to have attempted raping a pastor’s wife. He nearly succeeded save that the woman resisted with her last drop of blood. According to the source, the rapist inflicted several machete cuts on her in revenge for not having his way. Thereafter, the woman passed on before being taken to the hospital. We may ask again, is that a good way of treating our mothers? What a shame!Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.