Reflection for Mother’s Day
By: Fr. George Shalhoub
May 8, 2016
This Sunday, our nation will honor and pay tribute to Mothers by setting aside a day to say thank you with cards, flowers or lunch, which in my own opinion, is shortchanging the dignity and honor of what she represents to humanity. Nonetheless, my children and I will honor my wife and their mother.
Motherhood is God’s greatest creation, as stated in the Book of Genesis, for even the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the Theotokos’ womb. She is our teacher, our mentor and our treasure.
So, this Sunday I shall pray for all mothers that God strengthen their faith and give them patience and wisdom. For those who are in heaven, we send them our gratitude and love.
I also will celebrate Mother’s Day, who departed this life some 30 years ago, by sending my mother a letter:
I am writing this letter as I reflect on what you meant to me on and how you shaped my life, not only Mother’s Day, but throughout the years. This is not being sent by email, Twitter, Facebook or text, but through a prayer; for the shortest distance between heaven and earth is nothing more than a prayer.
So, my prayer is one of gratitude for the way you instructed me, and my brothers and sisters, to walk honorably and never cause you heartaches, even though as a child I was mischievous. And when you spanked and reprimanded me, you embraced me with your arms and pushed me to your heart. You reminded me how much I matter, not only to myself, but to my friends and neighbors.
You taught me how to pray, not by reading the Bible, but by the way you lived the Bible. I found out later on you did not know how to read or write. Not one day passed without you blessing me and reminding me to bless myself. Going to church with you was an adventure as we partook in the wonderful banquet of the Lord’s Table.
I never forgot your tears when I disappointed you. When I fell, you raised me up. When I doubted myself, you reassured me. When I felt insignificant, you reminded me that I am a child of the Most-High God. You always said the world was awaiting me to be a servant of the Lord and my community. I remember the tears that flowed from your eyes when I was sent/volunteered to go from Hama, Syria to Lebanon to attend the Balamand Seminary, as the Bishop requested. I thought I was going to summer camp and I wondered why you were so sad. Now I know. Your tears sustained me when I was alone and frightened. Your tears assured me that tears is the ultimate love.
Someone once wrote:
They say memories are golden
Well maybe that’s true
But I never wanted memories
I only wanted you.
A million times I’ve needed you
A million times I’ve cried If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly
In death I love you still
In my heart you hold a special place
No one could ever fill.
If tears could build a staircase
And heartache build a lane
I’d walk the path to heaven
And bring you back again.
To hear your voice, to see your smile
To sit and talk with you awhile
To be with you the same old way
Would be my fondest wish today
So, today I bow before the altar of your heart to thank you; for you have taught me how to forgive, how to always be strong, to be humble, to be persistent, yet gentle. You taught me to be ambitious, yet never greedy, and to never go alone, for success or failure is more meaningful when it is shared with others.
Pray for me, my children and family, as you sit on the right hand of the Lord, that our family continues to have peace and for our community to produce holy mothers such as you.. Keep us under the shelter of your love.
Hanna (Fr. George)