Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Always Listen to Your Mother

The Wedding Feast at Cana, Julius Schnorr von Carosfeld 1819

The Wedding at Cana is unique to the Fourth Gospel and is the first of Jesus’ seven signs. But, why water into wine? John2:1-11

The exchange between Jesus and his mother seems so familiar and somewhat humorous, to me at least. Mary, who John never refers to by name senses the humiliation of the wedding hosts and tells him that they have run out of wine. Jesus’ response is that they should have hired a better wedding planner. But then, without paying him any mind, she tells the servants to do whatever he says. I have this image of my mother encouraging me to get on the diving board for the first time: “Come on, you can do it! I know you can!” But, I wonder what Mary saw at that moment. What had Jesus revealed to her that would cause her to believe that such a miracle was possible? How did she know that this was his time?
In many ways the exchange between Mary and Jesus is somewhat reminiscent of the unspoken “dialogue” between Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King. Her refusing to yield her seat to protect her and her people from humiliation provoked King whose time perhaps, had not yet come, to transform history. She declared his moment was at hand.

It is more than coincidence that Jesus’ mother surrounds his earthly ministry. She is there at the very beginning; there at the start of his “career” and she is there at the end… as she watches him die. She is the nurturing force when he, shares parenthood with God the Father, as the Word is made flesh. What does this mean in this season of the Epiphany? Perhaps it is a reminder that whenever Jesus reveals his divinity, he is simultaneously revealing something about his humanity and as the Word was made flesh, our sharing in his divinity?


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