As the world celebrated Mothers’ Day penultimate Sunday, the priest in charge of the Society of Saint Paul Catholic Church, Obawole Estate, Iju, Lagos, Rev. Fr. Jikson M., advised people all over the world, and Nigeria in particular, to love their mothers above all others, after God.
The cleric, delivering a soul-stirring and thought-provoking message to an audience comprising Catholic faithful and others from all walks of life, said: “Mothers are supreme and next to God. After God, it is your mother. We should honour our mothers with all our hearts.”
Buttressing his charge to his parishioners, Fr. Jikson gave an illustration: “A Christian scholar was asked by his students, ‘whom should they love, after God?’ And he responded that it should be their mothers. They went on to ask who they should love after their mothers and he again responded, ‘mothers.’
“The students asked the same question the third time and the scholar still repeated, ‘mothers,’ the third and fourth time, before he said fathers. Yes, I agree with the scholar.
“You should love your mother after God. Your mother carried you in her womb for nine months and she nurtured you to the level where you are today. If she had decided to abort you, she could have done so, but she decided that you must be born. The onus is on you to show your mother love and affection.”
On her part, a teacher, Mrs. Perpetual Oporocha, who was among the congregation that received the priest’s message, corroborated Fr. Jikson’s opinion that mothers are supreme, saying: “There is nothing like mother. A mother understands a child better than any other person. First, she carried you in the womb, and took care of you from childhood to adulthood. She knows when you are hungry, sick or when things are not going well for you.
“A mother is so compassionate that she can lay down her life for her child. Give it all to your mum, she is the sweetest thing in your life.
“For those who have lost their mothers, I feel for them, but they should rather pray for the repose of their souls. Don’t be angry but pray for them and take Mother Mary as your mother. For mothers that throw away their children, either through abortion or any other way, stop it, for you don’t know what the child you are throwing away could be tomorrow. The child may be a light that may liberate your family. He may be the next President of this country.
“For the courageous mothers who imitated Mother Mary, who embraced all odds and gave birth to Jesus, heaven will be your reward. If Mother Mary had aborted Jesus, she would not have been the First Lady of the universe today.
“Another woman could have given birth to Jesus, because God would have found an alternative to Mary but she accepted to give birth to Jesus and all is history.
“Children should always remember that mothers are very unique and supreme.”
Similarly, another parishioner, Mrs. Phil Ngozi Ojeogwu, was of the opinion that even though some mothers bring reproach to their children, they should find a space in their hearts to forgive their mothers and move forward in life.
“It is much easier for parents to have good children than for the children to have good parents. Mothers should always be of good behaviour, as the children are watching.
“I miss my mother because she died many years ago. I know that most people are feeling what I am feeling today. Every year, I miss my mother, especially during Mother’s Day celebration. Those who are in my shoes should pray for the repose of their souls.”
Earlier, Fr. Jikson preached about repentance and forgiveness as the only way man would see God.
He said the story of the prodigal son was perhaps the best parable told by Jesus.
“The prodigal son left his father’s house as a hero and returned as a zero. When he left with all the wealth he compelled his father to give to him, he thought he would do it on his own terms. He enjoyed his wealth while it lasted and squandered everything.
“When he could not find food to eat, he took employment in the most dehumanizing job of taking care of swine. He was eating from the food served the swine. When he later came to his senses, he decided to go back to his father.
“His father received him and did not condemn him, but made a great feast. His father did not tell him to return what he squandered.
“The story of the prodigal son is talking to all of us. We may have sinned in one way or the other, but the moment we realise our mistakes and we have genuine repentance, God will forgive us. He will forget our past and welcome us back to his fold.
“What condition are you in presently? Have you deviated? Make amends and come back to God, he will forgive you as the father forgave his prodigal son.”