What a gift it was to see the beauty of these women. And then to witness the tears, the wisdom and vulnerability shared, the “aha” moments of coming home, coming home to ourselves. What a beautiful thing to honor the sacrificial sacrament of the mother, the often hidden, thankless, tireless, patient care of a mother, a kind of nurture that demands and requires extraordinary presence and attention. We would all do well to learn from them something of Christ, something of generosity and service that is rarely celebrated today. Much more than the Hallmark picture of the perfect mother that none of us had, this Mother’s Day I want to celebrate the imperfect mothers I know. Mothers who rarely get a good night of sleep, who can’t remember when they had a day to themselves, who struggle to not lose their identity and call to vocation with all the demands of raising children, working and doing life. And yet who are showing up. Who are living a sacramental life, with an openness to attend to the sacred in the midst of the chaos. Who receive no honor or esteem for their faithful presence day in and day out. And yet who are tending to the holy, birthing life, giving love, listening, paying attention, advocating, feeding, praying, and creating.
Rachel shared a quote this morning by Henri Nouwen, “The great movement of the spiritual life is from a deaf, nonhearing life to a life of listening.” Listening, paying attention, opening up our lives to be interrupted. This invites us to the sacramental life, living the sacred ordinary. Which is why I love the neighborhood so much. This is where the big stories of money, fame, success, and power that are worshipped in our culture are replaced with the small stories, of presence, faithfulness, generosity and compassion. Where the unsung heroes are celebrated and championed. So here’s to all the women and mothers this week, on Mother’s Day and all year round. You teach us so much of what it means to be faithfully present.
by Jessica Ketola