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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Lord, I am not Worthy

Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.” (NAB, MT 8:8) These are the words of a Roman Centurion who had made the request for Jesus to come and heal the Centurion’s servant.  When Jesus agrees to visit his home, we hear an astonishing confession of faith by this Roman: “I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (MT 8:9) Jesus remarks that nowhere in Israel has he found such faith as revealed in this Roman soldier.

The Centurion understands human authority and obedience, but moreover, he clearly recognizes the supreme authority of Jesus’ words; whatever Jesus says is Truth realized. When Jesus says, “Your sins are healed,” your sins are absolutely healed because Jesus says they are. Jesus is, in fact, the Word of God made flesh. God’s Word is reality! “Let there be light;” there is light. When Jesus speaks, he speaks reality into existence and truth, so when he tells the Centurion that his servant has been healed, it is so, precisely because Jesus says it is.

Do we trust the words of God? Do we believe, as the Roman soldier, that God’s Word is Truth itself, that all of creation is obedient to the sound of his voice? The Good News has been proclaimed to us! Will we receive it? Jesus is the Word of God made flesh! Will we receive him?

Father, you are infinite truth, love, mercy, and healing, revealed through your Word, your Son, Jesus Christ. Your word is truly power. You have the words of everlasting life. Allow me to hear you speak in the depths of my heart. ‘Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.’ Amen.

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