Do Whatever He Says

It is fitting that the first public miracle performed by Jesus took place during a local wedding feast. Feasts and banquets pervade the New Testament scriptures, including of course, the Wedding Feast to which we are invited, the heavenly and eternal banquet with our Father. Each Mass is in fact, a participation of the Heavenly Eucharist initiated by Jesus at the Last Supper. It is not a repetition of the event, but is a real participation in the one-time Pascal Sacrifice by our Lord and Savior.

The Gospel of John tells us that while Jesus, his family, and his disciples were attending this wedding in Cana, “the wine ran short, [and] the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” (NAB, JN 2:3-5) Mary, who had some role in the supervision of the servants, gives clear direction to them, and to us, to do the will of her son, Jesus.

Mary, in her simplicity of faith, trusts in the will and actions of Jesus. Mary points to the Lord. She does not come up with her own plan regarding a problem of which she’s concerned, but instead relies on the love and compassion of God’s Only Son. Mary is the example par excellence of discipleship, as she comes to Jesus with her concerns; she tells him the “problem,” and then leaves it to him for resolution. Mary, the Mother of God, does not claim a position of superiority, demanding and arguing for her position; rather, in her incredible humility, she abandons her concerns at the feet of Jesus, and then, in perhaps the simplest and most direct instructions possible, Mary provides THE Key to Discipleship: “Do whatever he tells you.

The Miracle at Cana happens through faith, trust, and obedience, when Jesus turns the water gathered by servants into wine, not ordinary wine, but choice wine. The transforming power of Jesus, when the problem is solved according to his will, results in a situation that is even better than what it had originally been. By trusting Jesus, by doing what he says, and by obediently following him, Jesus transforms our lives to heavenly heights never before imagined.

Jesus, I trust in you. Increase my faith, that I may obediently follow you as I am transformed into the person whom you created me to be, a person far greater and more beautiful than can be imagined. Help me to recognize that I am a Child of the Kingdom, as my hope of heavenly reward is fulfilled in my daily journey of loving you and loving those in my life. Give me strength and courage when I am weak, that I may do whatever you ask, according to your will and for your glory. Amen.

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Eyes of Faith

We know that Jesus performed many signs, wonders, and miracles of healing throughout his three years of teaching and ministry. We hear in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.” (NAB, 15:29-31) But Jesus didn’t humble himself and become one of us merely to be the greatest physician or miracle worker of all time; Jesus came for our eternal salvation, body and soul.

So, why did Jesus perform so many miracles? Authentic miracles reveal the divine presence and action, precisely because they defy our normal, human reason. Miracles act as external indications associated with the internal assistance and actions of the Holy Spirit regarding the revelation of God himself. Because they are “impossible” according to human reason, miracles open the door of faith, helping us to realize that our knowledge and understanding are limited, and pale in the presence of an infinite God.

Earlier in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asked those who refused to believe in his power over the spiritual realm: “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk [to a crippled person]?’” (MT 9:5) His point is that anyone can say anything, but to demonstrate that his words are effective in the spiritual world, especially when he forgives sins, Jesus performed signs, wonders, and miracles in the physical world, which were “impossible” according to human reason.

Heavenly Father, give me eyes that see, eyes that see your presence in the ordinary and in the miraculous. Strengthen my faith in your power over this world, so that I may more deeply trust in your power over the world hereafter. Amen.