Sunday 6 March 2016

The Mother of us All

The Prodigal Son... or the parable of the two sons - was given us today for the second time in nine days (we heard it as the Gospel two Saturdays ago). Had we been celebrating the Scrutinies we should have had the Man born Blind. But nothing about  Mothers. The Catholic Church really misses so many tricks; and none more than on Mothering Sunday. Passing the Anglican Parish Church today the street was clogged with cars - no doubt because of the popularity of Mothering Sunday. They seem to do better on this day than we do.

Perhaps the Ordinariate can try to remind Mother Church that the whole "Mothers' Day" business came from popular Catholic piety. We should not let people suppose that it is the invention of florists - any more than Easter is just a confection of the chocolate egg industry. There used to be so many popular festivals, Whit Walks at Pentecost, clipping the Church in mid-Lent. Today the Catholic Church is too puritanical. We need to get out on the streets carrying images of our Patrons in procession,  When our post-enlightenment Englishmen and women go on holiday, they are often fascinated, thrilled even, at the exuberance of continental Catholicism. We should bring back some of that colour and joy.

Thankfully, some of our folk seem to be getting the message. At the end of Mass there was a bucketful of daffodils, and the children distributed them as people left Church. But can't we remind our precious liturgists (I use the adjective in more than one sense) that Mothering Sunday happens because the old Epistle included the phrase about "Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all". We are not shy about Mary - so why not thank God on this day for our earthly mothers, for Mary the mother of the Lord, and for mother Church who nourishes us all?