Mothers generally have the reputation of being rather insightful without the help of any outside influence. Somehow, they just seem to know what is going on without being told. It seems rather spooky, especially if this insight occurs more than once. Could be a gut feeling. Maybe that condition could have been genetically caused, or perhaps it comes from being a good mother. My mom was like that.
In the gospel for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Luke 2:1-11) Mary, Jesus and some of his disciples are invited to a wedding feast at Cana. Utilizing the maternal insight, Mary notices that the wine is nearly gone–and the fiesta is far from being over. No one told her anything. So, what does she do? She goes over to her son Jesus and simply tells him, “They have no wine.” Apparently, Jesus will do something about it–so the mother hopes.
Jesus says in reply, “So what?” I suspect that Mary paused, looked at her son, gave a wry smile, walked over and told the waiters, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there must have been some kind of nonverbal communication between Jesus and Mary. Somehow, as a dutiful and loving son, Jesus knew that he had to do something, but what? According to John’s gospel, the time for Jesus’ public ministry had not yet arrived.
So, Jesus decided to advance his ministerial moment in time and performed a miracle by changing water into wine. All because he was following mom’s advise to do something about the problematic situation. After this miracle, not only did this new wine taste better than the previous wine, but also the disciples began to take Jesus seriously.
Now, what does this mean? Well, it could mean several things, but let me suggest a few. In addition to making very good wine and definitely impressing his disciples, Jesus’ miracle did something else. It made him respond positively to his mother’s implied recommendation. There was no demand, imposition, or obligation to do anything. Just an observation that someone was in trouble and needed help. Consequently, Jesus responded quickly.
The lesson for us? Whenever someone is in trouble and needs help, our “mother” (in our case, the “Church”) lets us know about this because of our Baptismal responsibilities to be of service to others. All the years spent growing up and maturing, have taught us how to behave with/for others through studying the life of Jesus, particularly his sense of justice, together with compassion, forgiveness, and understanding.
In other words, whenever and wherever we respond to the needs of others, we are taking mom’s (the “Church”) advice to help out the best way that we can. That, for us is the miracle.