I guess I should begin by saying Happy Mother’s Day to all our Moms.
There is an episode in Jesus’ life that is only mentioned in John’s Gospel. It has to do with wine and potential embarrassment and Mary, who is only mentioned in the Gospel as ‘the Mother of Jesus’ but ends in what we refer to as the first miracle of Jesus’ public ministry.
You will remember the story I’m sure. If you need a refresher read it again in
John 2: 1-11. For that matter we should all read it again.
There’s a wedding, a big event in the village of Cana. Some have suggested that it involved family members of Mary and therefore Jesus as well. That explains her being actively involved in solving the problem that arises.
That problem is the embarrassment of running out of wine before the two or three day celebration is over.
When Mary gets word of this she goes to Jesus and says, “they have run out of wine.” Pretty straight forward statement. To which Jesus replies, in what seems to be a rather caustic retort, “what does that have to do with me”. He also adds that “it’s not time for me yet”.
The next statement we read from John is that Mary tells the servants to do whatever He says. If you take a moment to read between the lines, it would seem obvious that there is a dialogue between Jesus and Mom that is not shared with us. Why is she so optimistic that Jesus is going to say something when He has just dissed her?
Thanks to Anita I’ve just been introduced to a new film series on the life of Jesus called “The Chosen”. It’s available on You Tube or as a downloadable App. In the episode about the wedding, after Jesus tells her to go away because he is not yet ready, she says…” If not now, when”?
This leads eventually to six, twenty or thirty gallon jars being filled with water. It’s an interesting insight into this rather formidable task that the wedding manger says. “it’s wine we’ve run out of not water”.
We know that the story ends with Jesus turning the water to wine and the manager of the wedding event saying that this is a most unusual situation. The Bride and Groom and family have left the best wine for last which is usually the time to serve the “plonk”, a term our son uses for the quality of wine Pam and I tend to buy.
There are a number of spiritual lessons that we can gather from this. One I like is when we allow Jesus to be our source for the needs we have. Jesus provides the best. The best wine, the best answers.
The other wonderful lesson is that the loaves and fish Jesus used to feed 5000 and then 4000 respectively generated an additional 12 and 7 baskets after everyone was satisfied. Could the message be that God is the source of abundance? I know it’s a lesson similar to another recent reflection, but it bears repeating. Not necessarily an abundance of finance but of grace and truth and love and perhaps I should add patience as we continue to live thru this isolation.
However, the incentive for this reflection is Mother’s Day and “the Chosen” has given me a new admiration for Mary as an example of a giving, compassionate and take-charge woman.
When she understands the consequence of a wineless celebration, she gets Jesus’ attention and then when He decides to sidestep the issue, she reminds Him of His purpose, that this is as good a time as any to step up to the plate and reveal His special God given status.
I know this day is about honouring our Mothers, but I wonder if we should spread the net a little wider and honour the many women who have had an influence on our lives. Women like Mary who knew what was needed to make things happen to make our lives and perhaps the lives of our families better.
Might I suggest that we think of someone outside of our family circle and either give them a call to say thanks or purpose to send a card of thanks acknowledging their contribution to our well-being.