Title: The Spirit of Love – A Mother’s Day Reflection
We gather today to honor and remember our mothers, those who are here with us today, and those who are in the heart of God. Today’s message takes inspiration from the Gospel of John 14:15-21. Let us read together:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” [NRSA]
In these words of Christ, we find a profound message of love and presence, a message that echoes the heart of what it means to be a mother.
In the first part of our reading, Jesus promises the coming of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will be with us forever. This Spirit of Truth is a constant presence, a guide, a helper, much like the role of mothers in our lives.
Mothers are often our first advocates,
- our first guides,
- teaching us right from wrong,
- guiding us towards truth, and
- helping us navigate the complexities of life.
Likewise the Holy Spirit is our ultimate Advocate of the Spirit of Truth.
Secondly, we must understand the importance of love in our relationship with God. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Our love for the Lord should not be just an emotional attachment but a profound, life-changing commitment that leads us to obey His teachings. Doing so, we will experience a deeper connection with Him and grow in our faith.
Mother and those who live out the role of Mothers, are great witnesses of this type of love. To love our neighbor or our enemy, is to love them as God loves. God calls us to keep God’s commandments. So loving others is expressing God’s love and expectation that what follows love is obedience and faithfulness to God.
Jesus also promises that he will not leave us as orphans. This promise is a poignant reminder on this Mother’s Day. Just like a mother’s love, God’s love is always present, always near. Even in the moments when we feel alone or lost, God, through the Holy Spirit, is there, providing us with comfort and guidance.
Another focus point is the promise of the Holy Spirit, also referred to as the Helper, and the Comforter. Jesus knew that His physical presence on earth would come to an end, but He did not want to leave His followers alone and without support. In His infinite love and wisdom, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with them and with us forever. Likewise, Mothers and those who help and comfort as Mothers are example of this nature of compassion and support.
In the latter part of this passage, Jesus says, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.” Mothers, too, instill in us values, commands if you will, that we are meant to keep to show our love for them. They teach us to be kind, to be just, to love others as we would like to be loved. When we live out these teachings, we honor not just our earthly mothers, but also our Heavenly Father.
It is crucial to recognize that the world cannot receive the Spirit of Truth because it neither sees nor knows Him. As believers, we have been granted a special gift – the ability to know and experience the Holy Spirit in our lives. This gift is a mark of our relationship with God and sets us apart from the world.
The world might clamor over group thinking or even majority of a given group belief determines truth, but God’s Holy Spirit is not contextual, not based on our imagination or mental construct. The Spirit of Truth is the standard outside human development, as a personal presence of God to give us Truth that is timeless.
Finally, Jesus tells us that because He lives, we will also live. This promise is reminiscent of the life-giving role of mothers. Mothers
- give us life,
- nurture us, and
- prepare us for the world.
In a spiritual sense, they help us to realize the promise of eternal life by teaching us to follow Christ’s teachings and commands.
As we honor our mothers today, let us remember these parallels between the love of God, as expressed in John 14:15-21, and the love of our mothers. Let us be thankful for their guidance, their support, their love, and their constant presence in our lives.
“Dear Heavenly Father, on this day, we give thanks for the gift of mothers, for their love, guidance, and nurturing spirit. May we honor them by living out the values they have instilled in us. Lord, bless all mothers. Comfort those who are grieving, strengthen those who are weary, and fill their hearts with Your love and peace. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
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