‘Mother’ is a word synonymous with love and warmth; with offering and self-sacrifice; with daily toil and endless patience – a sacred word that for every human being on Earth is associated with the precious divine gift of life. But especially for us Christians, the word mother also reminds us of our Lord’s journey towards frightful Golgotha. For the Mother of our God and Mother of us all was there, present on the hill of Golgotha, present under the Cross, suffering in the Passion of her Son – from beginning to end.
In imitation of the Most Holy Theotokos, every mother is firmly present in the small and large ‘Golgothas’ that their children climb, in the small and large ‘crosses’ that they are called to carry during the difficult times of their lives.
Mother’s day is an opportunity to express our gratitude towards all mothers, both individually and collectively, for their crucial role in our personal lives, in our family, in the community, and in wider society, while at the same time it challenges us to mentally travel to hard-hit Ukraine, where a fratricidal war has been raging for two and a half months.
There we will encounter mothers who become a shield for their children and try to protect them from the mire of war, mothers who take to the road as refugees with their children in their arms, and others who strive to heal the wounds in their bodies and souls.
But we will also encounter mothers mourning for their unfortunate children, for the profane – under the responsibility of people – removal of life that they, by the Grace of God, had given them.
In trying to experience, at least in part, the feelings of anguish, pain, and affliction that pervade the souls of Ukrainian mothers at this time, I believe we are, in a way, paying tribute to all mothers and, in addition, we strengthen our commitment to peace and increase our voices against war. In this way, we look forward to a future where, if possible, no other mother will experience these same feelings and be so unjustly deprived of the blessed gift God had granted her – her children.