Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Do Whatever He Tells You

January 1, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

John Paul II reminded us in his general audience on February 26, 1997, Mary’s command "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5) challenges us to trust Jesus without hesitation.
We should trust not only when it makes sense to us, but "especially when one does not understand the meaning or benefit of what Christ asks."

After that command of Mary's at the wedding of Cana Jesus turned water into the finest wine. We have the benefit of history to give us ample reason for our faith and obedience. We can see how Mary’s words, "Do whatever he tells you" should be heeded no matter what. When Mary gave that command to the servants they responded immediately and with tremendous faith. (John 2: 7-8)

John’s Gospel highlights how the servants respond as faithful disciples, promptly following Christ’s commands, no matter how mysterious those commands might appear to be. Mary can inspire us to prompt obedience, also.

Today at our 11:00 Mass our parish priest, Father George, explained how Catholics revere, respect and honor Mary. We do not worship her. I was so glad that he took the time to explain this. Our faith is often questioned here in the Bible belt and I believe he helped people to be better prepared to respond to this question (accusations) we often get. And, I suspect there are still a large number of guests attending Mass during this Holiday (Holy Days) season. His homily was straightforward, loving and helpful. His homily went on to explain the reason for our reverence and honor. Mary is the mother of God.
With Biblical explanations interwoven into his homily I felt sure that marginal believers, fallen away Catholics & evangelical protestant hearts must have heard!

One thing that seems so obvious -- Mary does inspire us. Asking Mary and then actually letting Mary inspire me to obedience is something I would like to focus on this year.

"Do whatever he tells you"
Last year our school pastor told the children that there are 3* kinds of obedience and that we should be ready to practice all 3. At a minimum we should always practice the first 2.

Quick (prompt!) Obedience

Joyful Obedience

Heroic Obedience

* Father Thomas, I am almost certain there were 4 kinds of obedience. Please remind me of what I am missing. Knowing me, it is probably something like remembering to be obedient!

Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! What a perfect way to start the year. My prayer for you this year comes from within today's first reading.
Nm 6:22-27
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
I would humbly add,
May the Blessed Mother inspire us all to holy obedience.

sources for this post:
Father George
Father Thomas
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words, Edward P. Sri
Catholic Education
New American Bible

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