(TuiAtuaTupuaTamaseseTa’isi, Head of State of Samoa)
An ancient proverb says, “Weave in faith and God will provide the thread”. Our mothers are our most skilful weavers. Throughout history,they have woven the strong bonds of family through their unwavering faith.
Samoan weaving is an art that carefully interlaces each strand to achieve balance, symmetry, harmony and correlation.
A mother who weaves with faith can find symmetry in the example of Mother Mary and her faith in the message of the Angel. Whatever trials Mary and Joseph faced, Mary was always calm and composed. It was her faith that gave her strength despite the doubts, envy and dangers that lurked around her as the mother of Jesus.
There is a saying in Asau: Ua pa le fana a Tulia (meaning, “The rumblings of Tulia forewarns). The saying forewarns of something about to happen.
This year our police force uncovered large supplies of hard drugs, drug paraphernalia and military guns. We must resist the presence of these things in our lives. We must weave together in faith the kind of strong family and communal bonds that can withstand the power and fear they may hold over us. With faith, God will provide us with the thread we need.
The master weaver is always concerned to achieve harmony and symmetry in both process and outcome. Skilful interlacing not only takes time and patience, but also lots of love. This is equally applicable when observing the process and art of becoming a mother.
In birthing a mother is separated from the child she carried for months in her womb. After the birth the umbilical cord and placenta are returned to Mother Earth in recognition of the sacred bond between people and the environment, between the generations, and, most importantly, between us and God.
Achieving harmony in our interlacing requires also acknowledging the sacred bond between the wisdoms of the long and deep views; between our hearts, minds and souls; and between parents and their children.
In my meditation, I asked myself: what is Christmas about? What does it mean to me? For me it is about family and about faith.
Mother Mary is the master weaver who weaves love, patience and compassion into the fabric of family. It is her unwavering faith in God that gives family its strength and durability. Christmas is about strengthening the interlacing of these bonds, the bonds of family and faith.
I wish you and your families a safe and blessed Christmas.