On Sunday 14 March, families will celebrate Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, this year there will not be an opportunity to gather in groups or to host big celebrations due to Covid restrictions. However, families will celebrate in a way that they praise and thank their mother in an appropriate way. They will acknowledge the love their mother shows each day of her life. This is also a day also to honour grandmothers and great grandmothers. Take a moment to think about your mother… your grandmother… your great grandmother. Say thanks in your heart, whether they are alive or deceased. St Vincent de Paul says ‘Love is inventive to infinity’ so herein lies a challenge for creativity for the celebration.
Sunday is also a day to celebrate and honour Mary, Mother of God and or Mother, under her many titles of Mother.
The reading proclaimed at Mass today from the prophet Hosea (Hos 14:2-10) reveals the Lord calling back the people to God, by turning away from their sins. God desires happiness for Israel. God promises them compassion, healing and love. The prophet Hosea uses poetic and picturesque images to attract the people to him. God ‘will fall like dew on Israel.’ Dew falls gently. The appeal lies in the images of the lily, the poplar and the olive. God promises that when the people act lovingly according to God’s will, they will ‘grow corn that flourishes’ and ‘cultivate vines.’ Idols will not interest people whose life is in God, who hears their prayer and cares for them. Through Hosea, God appeals to the wise and intelligent to ‘understand the words and grasp their meaning.’
God reveals Godself through the psalmist (Ps 80) as the assembly responds, ‘I am the Lord your God, listen to my warning.’
The Gospel today (Mk 12:28-34), proclaims Jesus’ teaching on love. He answers the scribe’s question, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus does not list off the Ten Commandments but sums them up in the great commandment, ‘you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength… you must love your neighbour as yourself.’ Jesus says ‘there is no commandment greater than these.’
To love God is not a commandment like the others. The other commandments guide us in ways we love our neighbour i.e. honouring our parents, not stealing or telling lies or taking our neighbour’s good name or destruction of the planet. When it comes to loving God, there are no limits. God is love. God is holy and God is a jealous God.
God is love. Disciples love God first. If disciples truly love God, they will love their neighbour. They love God more than they love everyone else. They show that love by doing God’s will. Disciples love God with all their mind by following God’s guidance and by offering a sacrifice to God. They offer sacrifice this season of Lent as they keep the Lenten promise by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. They live each day to make God’s kingdom of peace and love a reality in daily life. They also read the Bible and reflect on God’s teaching. Disciples love with all their strength when they serve God and when they actively participate in the Church and parish community.
When disciples love God alone, they will understand the best way to love his/her neighbour.
VERITAS publications provides free access to the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé online resources, which support the theme of love in all class standards. These resources include the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books. The Grow in Love / I nGrá Dé e-book for Fourth Class/P6 explores the Gospel message proclaimed for Mass today. Third P/5 and Fourth /P6 Grow in Love /I nGrá Dé class programmes also outline the Ten Commandments.
- From the Bible or from Grow in Love / I nGrá Dé read ‘The greatest commandment’(Mk 12: 29-31)
- Hail Mary/ Sé do bheatha a Mhuire, The Magnificat
- ‘Love the Lord your God,’ You will find the video lyric on line for the Fourth Class/P6 Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé programme
- Make a Mother’s Day card for your Mam and write a prayer of thanks or a poem of love
- If you live near your parish church, you and your family could visit the Church. See if you can find a statue or image of Mary, Mother of God. Light a candle at a shrine or light the virtual candle from the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Say a prayer to Mary.
Sr Anne Neylon