Lenten Meditations: Sunday 14 March. Mothering Sunday

Mar 14, 2021 by

Mar 14
am: 127
pm: 27,107
 Exodus 2.1-10 2 Corinthians 1.3-7 John 19.25b-27




LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: The Fourth Sunday of Lent is known by several names over the ages: Laetare Sunday. Refreshment Sunday, Rose Sunday, and Mothering Sunday.


Laetare is the first word — meaning “rejoice” — in the Latin text. On Laetare Sunday (as similarly with the Third Sunday of Advent’s Gaudete Sunday) the Church expresses hope and joy in the midst of our Lenten fasts and penances. Call it pink — or, more fittingly, rose — this change in color indicates a glimpse of the joy that awaits us at Easter, just before we enter into the somber days of Passiontide.


Mothering Sunday dates back to the 15th Century was less about mothers and more about church. Back then, people would make a journey to their ‘mother’ church once a year. This might have been their home church, their nearest cathedral, or a major parish church in a bigger town. The service which took place at the ‘mother’ church symbolized the coming together of families. This would have represented a significant journey for many.

Another tradition was to allow those working in the fields on wealthy farms and estates in England to have the day off on the fourth Sunday of Lent to visit their mothers and possibly go to church too. Inevitably the return to the ‘mother’ church became an occasion for family reunions when children who were working away returned home. (It was quite common in those days for children to leave home for work once they were ten years old.)

Refreshment Sunday is called such in reference to the traditional Gospel of the day relating the feeding of the five thousand (Jn. 6: 1–14), and because of the relaxation of the Lenten discipline allowed on this day This Sunday was also known as “the Sunday of the Five Loaves,” from the Gospel reading for the day. Prior to the adoption of the modern lectionaries, the Gospel reading for this Sunday in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Western-rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches was the story of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.


MEDITATION OF THE DAY: At first glance this Gospel appointed for Mothering Sunday in the Church of England Lectionary may not seem very appropriate as we don’t see the joy of a mother and son returning or a great family gathering but rather a mother who is enduring the greatest pain a mother can endure the death of a child. Of course, mothers suffer on behalf of their children if the vocation of motherhood is bound to them and for Mary this was the life vocation to love and suffer for and with her Son. Think about the depth of suffering when Mary suffered as she endured the mocking of neighbors in Galilee when he started his ministry, the trickery of the Pharisees not to mention when she watches her Son being crucified for a crime he has not committed.

Mary is crestfallen as she watches her Son as her motherhood is changed. She will be without her Son. Jesus is mindful of that and responds with the entrusting of Mary to John.


What should be our takeaway 2000 years later? Let us take the example of Blessed Mary and John to heart and pray for those mothers who, like Mary, find themselves in difficult, painful situations. At the same time pray for our own mothers and all the mother-figures we have been blessed with on this journey.

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Loving God, trusting in your promise to hear us when we pray in faith, we ask you to bless all our relationships in the families of our homes, our church, and our communities so that through our lives your loving will for us may be done. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen

ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: We live in a society which trusts too much in words, consciousness, organization, activism. Mary, the Mother of God, reminds us of the necessity for silence, receptivity, growth and contemplation”.

A.M.  Allchin, Anglican Theologian.


Lenten Discipline- Simnel Cakes a part of the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Go about preparing one and bring it to a mother who has lost a child to let her know she was being thought of today. Go to https://mrsportlyskitchen.com/2014/03/28/mothering-sunday-simnel-cake/

eyesight to others.


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