Happy new year and happy solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God! I think it’s so wonderful that this feast day is on the first day of a new calendar year because it helps us to kick it off right by recommitting ourselves to Mary and Jesus through the Mass. I know that our Catholic “new year” started on the First Sunday of Advent, but we can still take into consideration our spiritual new year’s resolutions along with our other goals for the new calendar year. How blessed we can become if we include our Holy Mother in our spiritual growth for the new year and always!
I would like to offer a little spiritual reflection for you on this feast day. One of my favorite stories from the Gospels is the Wedding Feast at Cana. It contains one of the few lines that Mary speaks. This is from Gospel of John 2:1-11.
On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it.
When the headwaiter had tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the head waiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this at the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
As you can tell from the title of this post, the line I always focus on whenever I hear this passage read is, “Do whatever he tells you.” I think this perfectly embodies the mission our Blessed Mother is carrying out in heaven to guide us to her Son. Yet, reflect on the story with me. I find the exchange between Jesus and Mary, before she tells the servants to listen to her son, rather interesting and even a little humorous. When Mary hears that they ran out of wine, I can imagine her trying to decide whether or not to tell Jesus. When she makes up her mind, I picture her being filled with confidence, but approaching him nonchalantly with this problem and telling him.
I then picture Jesus smiling and quietly laughing while he asks why the wine shortage should concern him. Even though he says this, I see Mary return Jesus’ smile, turn to the servants, and tell them to listen to her Son. Even though Jesus says that his hour has not yet come, Mary’s confidence does not waver, and she believes he will do something great anyway. This causes the rest of the story unfold and result in the first public miracle performed by Jesus.
When I pray the Luminous Mysteries and the Wedding at Cana is the next mystery, I always meditate on Mary saying, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary isn’t just telling the servants at the wedding to listen to Jesus’ instruction, but she is also telling us listen to whatever he says! As Jesus teaches throughout the gospels, he gives greater depth to the law, “You have heard it said… but I say to you…” It is during these times that we should be reminded of Mary saying that line from Cana and obeying his words!
If you haven’t made Mary a greater part of your everyday life, the start of a new year is a great opportunity to do so. I know there are many people who struggle with Mary being our Mother, and someone who seems to get more attention than Jesus. I struggled with seeking Mary’s intercession until about four years ago, and ever since I made her a big part of my life, she has only led me closer to the Heart of her Son. Do not be concerned that the attention we give to Mary takes attention away from Jesus; whatever Mary receives from us, she gives it right back to God. We honor Mary, but we do not worship her. We can trust that she will lead us to her Son, who is our salvation, and that the love we have for her she gives to him and gives him great pleasure.
I pray that you have a wonderful and blessed new year and that you may grow closer to Jesus and Mary in 2013!