Fr Paddy McKenna

The entrance verse in today’s Mass says it all. “Rejoice, Jerusalem and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning, exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast”. The purple vestments may be replaced with rose-coloured vestments, there is joyful music and flowers are placed on the altar. You might think perhaps that the command to rejoice and be happy has something to do with this Sunday being Mother’s Day. Rather it is directed towards those people who have been keeping Lent as a time of prayer, fasting and abstinence Rejoice and be glad, because the penitential season is almost over, and the Easter is not far away. I look forward to Easter Sunday, to celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord, that momentous event gives meaning to the faith we practise. “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.” As faithful followers of Christ we have a right to rejoice

So today, forget the Season of Lent and ‘rejoice’ as you celebrate this Mother’s Day. Incidentally, Mother’s Day used to be a day on which families went to their ‘mother church’, or their parish church to thank God for the gift of ‘family’ and for the role that mothers played in rearing their family. Currently, it may not be politically correct to define ‘mother’ as having such a definitive role. But today, I for one recognise the unique role that mothers have and the unique role they play in the lives of their family. Thank God for mothers and for all they do to promote the richness of family life. St. Paul’s words are truly relevant. “They are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he has meant us to live it”.

Those words are there for all of us and the template for living a ‘good life ’is in the preaching of Jesus, urging us to be people of integrity and to be children of light, not darkness. “The person who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God”. Today is is an opportunity to appreciate mothers, to rejoice and to be children of light.

When all the others were away at Mass, I was all hers, as we peeled potatoes. They broke the silence, let fall one by one like solder weeping off the soldering iron; Cold comfort set between us, things to share, gleaming in a bucket of clean water. And again let fall. Little pleasant splashes from each other’s work would bring us to our senses.

So while the parish priest at her bedside, went hammer and tongs at the prayers for the dying, And some were responding and some were crying, I remember her head bent towards my head, her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives- Never closer the whole rest of our lives”.(Seamus Heaney)