Lydia Cristini

WORD MADE FLESH

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 11, 2016
Isaiah 62.1-5 | Psalm 96 | 1 Corinthians 12.4-11 | John 2.1-12
January 17, 2016

Mary and I have never been close. Don't get me wrong; I really respect her. I know her prayers are incredibly powerful. Whenever I need to pull out all the stops, prayer-wise, the rosary is my go-to. The Hail Mary, and especially the Memorare are my favourite prayers in a pinch.

Not only that, but she is the ultimate Christian. Her "yes" to God in the Magnificat is a beautiful expression of perfect humility, faith and trust in God.

Do whatever he tells you. - John 2.5

'Do whatever he tells you.'

John 2.5

Also, over the years, I have read or heard of saint after saint (and person after person) who came to believe in Christ through devotion to Mary. Intellectually, I know she is a great refuge and help to anyone who asks. But I just don't feel it.

SAINTLY IMPERFECTIONS

I do not totally understand why. Maybe it is partly because she is so perfect. I have always appreciated some imperfection in the saints. It makes them more real, and it makes holiness seem possible.

How can I hope to be holy, with all my imperfections, if I am trying to be like someone who did not have any?

Maybe it is partly because my own mother died when I was nine. Although there are significant mother figures in my life, no one can take the place of my own mom. How do I connect to a heavenly mother when I do not know what it is like to have an earthly one?

All that being said, the wedding at Cana is one of my favourite stories about Mary. It tells us so many things about her and her son. It shows Mary as part of a real community. She cared for others, and did not want people to be humiliated by their lack of money, or generosity, or planning (or whatever it was which caused them to run out wine).

It shows Mary was confident. She was confident in her son's love for her and in his willingness to do what she requested, even if it meant starting his public life a little early. She was also confident in her son's ability to fix the situation, even if it looked impossible.

POINTING TO JESUS

Moreover, her words to the servants (and the last of her words recorded in the Gospels) are her words to us: "Do whatever he tells you." These exemplify her role: always pointing people toward Christ, not toward herself.

One talk I gave while I was on a National Evangelization Team taught that faith is based on fact, not feeling. Feelings are changeable, but the facts of God's love, mercy and salvation are constant. If we base our faith on the facts, our faith will not be shaken.

Therefore, even if I do not have a feeling of devotion to Mary, I can look at the wedding at Cana and trust she is a compassionate friend, a confident woman and a loving mother, as well as the queen of heaven, who always leads us closer to her son.