“Do Whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
The story of the wedding feast at Cana affords us an opportunity reflect on the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the life of a Christian. Here, at the scene of the wedding in Cana, Mary intercedes, that is to say, she speaks to Jesus on behalf of the people, with the simple request, “They have no wine.” (2:4) This discourse would have brought the mind the Jewish reader, the role of the Gebirah, or queen mother, in the courts of Solomon. In 1 Kings 2:13-21, we see the mother of Solomon, treated as a queen, she sits on a throne, is honored by Soloman, who bows to her and says “Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you.” And she speaks to her Son on behalf of the people. Just as Mary speaks to Jesus on behalf of the wedding guests at Cana.
Honoring Mary does not detract from the worship we give to God alone. We honor Mary and ask her to intercede to pray for us, as the mother of Jesus and as our Gebirah, our Queen Mother. She does not take the place of Jesus, only he died for our sins, only he alone can give us the grace of salvation, he alone is the God, made flesh who brings us to the Father. But rather, Mary points to Jesus by her example and supports us with her prayers. In her first recorded words in the Gospel, Mary tells us “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me, according to your will.” In today’s gospel we hear her last words: “Do whatever he tells you.” Let us resolve to model ourselves after Our Lady by always submitting to God’s will, and never hesitating to do what Jesus asks of us.