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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 6, 2016

Sunday is Mother’s Day. One thing that all mothers have in common across cultures and socio-economic differences is their desire for family unity. Stumped on what to give Mom for Mother’s Day? Give her a gift that you won’t find in any store—the most prized of all gifts. Give her the gift of harmony among all family members for a day, a week, a month or a year. Ask your sibs (and their spouses and kids) to dig deep into their hearts and pitch in to give her this very special gift. Agree not to speak negatively about anyone in the family or in anger for a period of time. We mothers are happiest when we have gathered our children, other family members, and dear friends that we consider as family, for a meal. We love to sit back and listen and watch the interaction among family members—the (friendly) debates, the cheerful ribbing, the encouraging words spoken, the tales of faraway places and experiences in those places, and family stories told and re-told. The sound of the good-natured laughter of family and friends in our homes is the sweetest music we will ever hear.

This week’s scripture[1] texts about unity are after a mother’s heart. We start with Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” The theme note in my Bible for this psalm is “The joy of harmonious relationships.” Keith Ruckhaus ties the psalm together with this week’s gospel: “Once again, the title of Psalm 133 reminds that the song belongs to the David collection because it resonates with the fellowship of the heart between David and God—the desire for the unity of God’s people. It goes way beyond that, it is the unity of all people . . . The one so longed for in these last songs, David’s son yet to come, also joined the fellowship of the heart, and he expressed it this way: ‘Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one . . . I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one as you Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.’” (Ruckhaus, As Though We Were Dreaming: Commentary on the Songs of Ascents for Lent (2013) Resource Publications, p. 212). (John 17: 21-23).

The first lesson describes how the disciples (or apostles as they were now called) came together after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, with other believers to name a replacement for Judas. (Acts 1:12-26). They understood the importance of unity among themselves. The epistle lesson emphasizes how our differences will all be healed and we will interact in perfect unity of spirit in heaven: “And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2b). A note in my Bible explains: “John is quoting from Ezekiel 47:12, where water flowing from the temple produces trees with healing leaves.”

Try practicing harmony now in your family, in your church, in your community.  Making a choice to live in harmony is a healing experience.  It is a choice you can make. It is easy to spot others’ deficiencies, to capitalize on them and to complain about them. It is easy to play the part of the victim. It is easy to disrupt and cause dissension.   It is difficult to resolve problems amicably, to swallow your pride and to take the high road. It takes a stronger and self-confident person to overlook differences and to try to work together in peace. Are you up for the challenge? Go for it. Make mom proud.

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

[1] The Scripture texts for the Seventh Sunday of Easter are Acts 1:12-26; Revelation 22:1-6; 12-20; John 17:20-26.

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