The Christian tradition uses the term ‘Father’ as its predominant metaphor to capture the essence of God. Yet so many of the characteristics that we ascribe to God are what we might term ‘feminine’qualities: love, compassion, forgiveness, selfless service.
This Sunday, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s perhaps appropriate that we take time to reflect on how the scripture portrays an understanding of God that evokes images of a Mother’s tender, life-giving, nurturing, yet unbreakable strong love for her child.
There are shadows of our own current life experience in Thomas’anguished cry to Jesus in the Gospel, “Lord, we do not know where you are you are going, so how can we know the way?”
We get a sense of a confused and even frightened child, calling out for reassurance and security in a time of uncertainty and fear. And like a mother cradling her child safely yet gently in her arms, Jesus responds like a mother would, with words of care and confidence. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.”
This reading from John’s Gospel, with Jesus’ assurance that“I am the way, the truth and the life”, gives us a real sense that God loves as a mother, challenging us to move forward with confidence, but knowing that behind and before will always be her unconditional, unwavering, supportive,encouraging, forgiving and healing love.
For the selfless, timeless, life-giving love of a mother is the greatest approximation to the love God has for us. And the image of a child nestled tenderly, securely, safely in its mother’s arms is the most beautiful image of unconditional love.”