Do Whatever He Tells You
Reflection based on John 2:1-11
“This is going to be a disaster, a disgrace! And at such a time of joy!”
“Wait, let’s see what happens. She seemed
confident her son could help.”
“Buy new wine? Where?”
“I don’t know. Shhh! I want to hear what they’re saying.”
Mary has just finished telling Jesus that the bride and groom have run out of wine. With the concern of a mother’s heart, she wants their wedding feast to be what they hoped for—a time of rejoicing and celebration, not anxiety and embarrassment. It could be that these newlyweds are relatives, but be they even distant relations or friends, she is caring for them as her children.
“Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”
The servers are puzzled by the meaning of this, but it certainly doesn’t sound promising.
Mary, on the other hand, hears the promise. “Woman”: Jesus acknowledges here that she is the New Eve, the Woman whose seed will crush the head of the serpent, the Mother—not just of the living—but of the One Who is Life (cf. Gen. 3). “My hour has not yet come,” that is, “I haven’t begun to work miracles, but once I do, there is no going back.” It is as if the path to the Cross is suddenly laid at Jesus’ feet. Is He to step onto it right now?
At this moment, Our Lady shows her wisdom and faith. If Jesus’ hour is to begin now and He is willing, she too will utter her “fiat.” She neither dismisses the servants, nor tries to convince her Son to work a miracle. She simply looks at the servers and says, “Do whatever He tells you.” With total trust, she leaves this in Jesus’ hands.
Perhaps, as the servers wonder what exactly Jesus will say, He looks at His mother and marvels with delight (as He must have done many times before) at her faith and trust. Then He turns to the servants and directs them to fill the washing-jars with water.
We know the rest of the story. Not only does Jesus turn the water into wine, but into the best, the finest wine. The wedding joy is preserved, and Our Lord’s disciples begin to believe in Him. This seemingly small miracle is a sign with a deeper meaning: it points to Jesus’ self-gift in the Eucharist and the heavenly wedding feast that will never end. When God gives, he gives abundantly, and we can see, so to speak, His signature here.
This first of Jesus’ recorded miracles came at the request of Our Blessed Mother. We know well that she still intercedes from heaven for her children. But every now and again I, for one, need a reminder of this. Perhaps all of us can look at certain people and situations we are praying for and think we are out of resources. It can be discouraging when difficulties do not seem to change, even after much prayer. May I suggest that we bring these “hopeless” situations to Mary? She who watched Jesus’ hour come, stood at the foot of the Cross, and knows the power of her Resurrected Son wants to obtain for us a share in the graces flowing from the Paschal mystery. We can, indeed, entrust our prayers to Our loving Mother and know they will be answered in the Lord’s way and His time. I think we may look back one day upon these petitions and see that, even when answered in seemingly small ways, the graces given and the resultant fruits were abundant.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Sr. Cecilia Francis, CFR