Familiar scene. Subtle lesson.

The wedding feast at Cana in Galilee (John 2:1-11) is a perennial. If it is not in the cycle of readings for the year it always seems to pop up at weddings (for very good reason), or through casual reading of the Gospels. There is something comforting about the reading, like coming home with old friends. This is what Mary and Jesus were doing since they were invited to the wedding. I can imagine them surrounded by friends and family, laughing, dancing, having a good time — Jesus introducing his new friends (read disciples).

Then the wine runs short. Mary finds Jesus in a circle of friends. She pulls him aside. Some of the disciples peel off too to see if everything is okay. She informs him of the shortage. Jesus, aware of his mission and the importance of the moment, performs his first miracle. He doesn’t stop the party to draw attention to himself. Rather, in a corner with only Mary, his disciples, and several servers does he turn water into wine. It is the bridegroom who apparently gets all the credit.

A reality hits me every time I read this Gospel passage — this is the last time we hear Mary’s voice,  “Do whatever he tells you.” It is as though she is speaking directly to us, giving us a very important piece of information. Listen to my Son. I’m sure the servers and disciples were looking at Jesus sideways when he told them to fill the jars with water. When the result was the finest wine money could buy, their lives were changed, they “began to believe in him.” They began to believe in their hearts. It was a transformation. This Jesus could affect great change in their lives. At this point they were only on the precipice of an amazing journey.

There is no telling what he will tell us to do today, tomorrow…But if we have the faith to heed Mary’s request, we will begin to believe and witness some pretty amazing miracles within and around us.

Will you do whatever he tells you?

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