Gospel Commentary: Do Whatever He Tells You

In the book of Genesis, God told Adam and Eve "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body," and "be fruitful and mutiply, fill the earth and subdue it." These are the unitive and pro-creative aspects of marriage as God created it and made it sacred. In today's passage from St. John, Jesus also showed the importance of marriage by performing His first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana. Both Mary and Jesus were invited to the wedding. Each Catholic today makes their wedding promises before Christ, but should also invite Mary to be a part of their Sacrament of Matrimony. At Cana's wedding feast the wine ran out. That could have been ignored by both Jesus and Mary, but Mary made it her concern out of compassion for the young married couple. Mary equally has compassion for all marriages in which there is a problem and is ever ready to assist if we but ask. Mary immediately went to her Son for assistance with the wine shortage. What did she expect of Jesus? She hadn't seen Him work a miracle in public prior to this, but she had witnessed the miracles and power of God 30 years before: her conception of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth conceiving in her old age, and the Holy Family's deliverance from the destructive hand of King Herod. Mary had heard the tales of the shepherds and the magi, as well as the prophecies of Simeon in the temple. Also, Mary recalled the words of her Son at the age of 12: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But most of all, she knew that her Son was God, so with unwavering faith she now approached Him, assured that He would answer her request. The response Jesus gave her, "Woman, how does this concern of yours involve me," may sound rude or insulting to us, but we can't begin to fathom the depth of love and understanding between that mother and son. Mary gave Jesus His birth, in sorrow saw Him suffer, stood at the foot of His cross, and witnessed His resurrection. Whatever involved the Son included the mother, and whatever involved the mother included the Son. Jesus' next reply, "My hour has not yet come," did not dim Mary's faith. To Mary it meant that Jesus would have to raise His level of public ministry to a supernatural level, but she had confidence that He could and would do just that. Thus, she told the servants "Do whatever He tells you." Later Jesus would tell His disciples "Whoever wants to rank first among you must be the servant of all." Therefore, we servants should take Mary's words as a directive for our own lives. Jesus changed the water into wine, enough to provide for the rest of the wedding feast. At the Offertory during Mass, the priest adds a little water to the wine, and prays, "By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity." Thus, by Jesus' first miracle of changing water to wine, He invites all of us to share in His divinity by being, for us, the Way, the Truth and the Life throughout our time in this vale of tears. Deacon Ostrom is director of the Office for Family Life in Arlington and is assigned to St. Ambrose Parish in Annandale. Copyright ?1997 Arlington Catholic Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

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