This is Jesus’ first “sign” in the Gospel of John: water to wine. Jesus’ response to Mary’s communication that the groom has run out of wine seems somewhat harsh—yet it sounds so true to normal family life! Mary has recognized a safe situation in which Jesus can meet a human need by exercising the gifts that he alone has. She doesn’t tell him what to do; she communicates the need, but he knows very well (as do most children) what his mother expects of him. It seems that Jesus isn’t eager to be pushed into action. Perhaps Mary believes that Jesus needs a gentle but firm nudge. Perhaps she senses his procrastination about demonstrating his gifts. Maybe she knows his fear, while remaining acutely aware of her own.
At Cana, Jesus seems to be backing down from his display of confidence when inviting disciples to follow him. Now it sounds as though he’s having second thoughts and needs encouragement through the confidence his mother has in him.
How often have we taken an action that seemed like a good idea at the time but found ourselves trying to back out after further reflection? How often have we excused ourselves with the thought, What does that have to do with me? When has the encouragement and support of others made all the difference?
God, help me recognize your call when it comes through other people. Guide me when I ask, “What does that have to do with me?” Amen.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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