Jesus is Our True Mother

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers! For you and for all of our mothers — and all women who, even if they are not biological mothers, are spiritual mothers — I’d like to offer thanks and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ who has ministered God’s love through you.

Jesus alone is the perfect image of our Heavenly Father, the perfect parent and source of all true motherhood and fatherhood, all family love (Eph. 3:14).

All that is good and beautiful in true motherhood — nurture, compassion, gentle strength, relentless sacrifice, faithfulness, wisdom, and undying love — have their source and sustaining in the God who revealed himself through Jesus as Abba or Dada (Mark 14:36). Repeatedly, Jesus with his arms and heart open to all people in need, especially little children, shows us that God has motherly attributes (Matt. 18:2-5, 19:13-14).

Revelations of God’s Motherly Love

In the 14th Century not many people thought of God as like a nurturing mother. They were more likely to see God as stern, if not harsh. In this age Julian of Norwich wrote an inspiring tribute to motherhood, illuminating for us the revelation of the Lord Jesus in motherly love:

Our true mother, Jesus, he who is all love, bears us into joy and eternal life; blessed may he be! So he sustains us within himself in love and was in labour for the full time until he suffered the sharpest pangs and the most grievous sufferings that ever were or shall be, and at the last he died. And when it was finished… he had born us to bliss…

The mother can give her child her milk to suck, but our dear mother Jesus can feed us with himself, and he does so most generously and most tenderly with the holy sacrament which is the precious food of life itself… He sustains us most mercifully and most graciously…

The mother can lay the child tenderly to her breast, but our tender mother Jesus, he can familiarly lead us into his blessed breast through his sweet open side [that bled on the cross for us], and show within part of the Godhead… the joys of heaven, with spiritual certainty of endless bliss; and that was shown in the tenth revelation [to me and] in the sweet words where he says, “Look how I love you,” looking into his side and rejoicing.

This fair, lovely word “mother,” it is so sweet and so tender it [is most truly] said of him… To the nature of motherhood belong tender love, wisdom and knowledge… The birth of our body is only low, humble, and modest compared to the birth of our soul… [and] it is [Jesus] who does it…

All the debt we owe, at God’s bidding, for his fatherhood and motherhood, is fulfilled by loving God truly; a blessed love which Christ arouses in us. (Divine Revelations, pp. 141-142.)

May the Spirit of Jesus Christ arouse in us all great love and honor for our mothers, as unto God, who loves us like a perfect mother.


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