Sunday is Mothering Sunday, and I expect quite a few of us will be seeing our mums, and a few flowers and chocs will be given in celebration. For many people however, Mothering Sunday is a bittersweet occasion, laden with regret about things including damaged relationships, mothers or children no longer living, inability to conceive and much more.
The gospel reading set for the day is the harrowing scene where the dying Jesus on the cross sees his mother Mary watching and entrusts the care of his mother to his disciple John. How hard it is for any parent to watch their child die, we can only imagine how Mary must have felt. The words Jesus used are reminiscent of the ancient adoption procedure, and it's clear that he had this in mind.
For parents and children, care goes both ways at different times of life. As babies, most of us are totally dependent on our mothers for food, clothing, nappy changing, and many other things. But a few decades later the roles are often reversed as our mothers become dependent on us. I know that some of you reading this have had that experience, or are going through it at the moment.
One of the ten commandments is that we should honour our mother and father. Sometimes this is taken to mean that young children should obey their parents, but I think it has more to do with how we behave in adulthood, as we watch our parents' care needs escalate as they age, and indeed with how we treat older people in general.Whatever situation you're in, and whatever you find yourself doing on Sunday, I hope that you'll take the opportunity to treat someone with love, care and respect