Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Mary's Commandment  

In the second chapter of the Gospel of John, St. John has recorded the miracle Jesus performed when He changed water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. The miracle was performed by our Lord at the request of His mother.

After Mary commented to Jesus that they have no more wine, our Lord responded in a way that might seem curious to us, "Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come" (2:4, DRV). I did not really understand His response, although I had heard a number of people comment on it, until I read Bishop Sheen's description of this incident in his book, Life of Christ.

Bishop Sheen makes the point that this miracle is the first step in the beginning of the end because it marks Jesus for His crucifixion. By performing a miracle, Jesus will have begun His public ministry in earnest, and people will begin to know Him for His mighty deeds. It is this popularity which will lead to the conflicts with the religious leaders. In God's providence, the jealousy and fear of the religious leaders which incites them to have Jesus put to death provides the setting for Jesus' laying down of His life. This miracle will be the first step in Jesus' public ministry which will end at the cross.

The response of our Lord to our Lady's request is in a sense asking if she is willing to give her fiat again because this time it means saying yes to suffering that He and she, as His mother and the person who best understands Him, will undergo.

Mary's response has been termed by Sr. Lucia of Fatima as Mary's commandment. She says, "Do whatever He tells you." In other words, our Lady again gives her fiat to the will of God, and she turns to the servants and us, to exhort us to do whatever Jesus tells us to do. She wants us to fully participate in the humble submission and obedience which she models for us.

This commandment of Mary's is one on which we could meditate for some time. It expresses that total devotion to Christ that comes from a heart submitted to Him. It shows how our Lady always points us to Christ. It is as if she looks out at us, directly into our eyes from the pages of Scripture in order that we might understand the essence of discipleship which is to obey the One Who loves us. Her implicit trust in Jesus should encourage us to let go of our fears and worries in order to follow Him more closely than we have to this point.

Posted by David at 9:18 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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