Category Archives: Mary tells all

Cana Update[1]

I am always brought up short by the strange encounter between Jesus and his mother at Cana. Jesus has already begun His public ministry, He’s been baptized, been to the desert, and is traveling around the country preaching with an entourage of His first disciples. He and his followers arrive at the wedding of friends and as the party is getting going, one of those “Opps” of life happens to the groom, the guests have imbibed all his wine. Mary gets wind of the embarrassment via the guest grape vine and informs Jesus.

Perhaps that all she intended to do, inform Him. Perhaps she hadn’t thought beyond that except that something needed to be done to help her friends. If this is the case, then Jesus enigmatic reply could be interpreted as an invitation to greater belief, to faith: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come. [2] [Jn 2:4] In other words, “Does your concern about the embarrassing situation of our friends affect the Kingdom which I have come to establish? Does it pertain to the Father’s will? There is a time and a place Providence has assigned for all things. The hour of my revelation of myself as the Messiah is not now.”

The response He invites from Mary is one of complete faith in God and trust in His guidance of Her. Perhaps this is a Mother-Son moment when He is sincerely asking for Her guidance. Her lesson to Him is that this concern does actually affect Him, as Elizabeth’s need affected her and as the concerns of all affect each of us. She may realize, though perhaps only peripherally, that all concerns need to be His concerns, all needs His needs, not just on a human level, but on His Savior level, His Kingship level, His Divine level. Perhaps this is the “Ah-Ha” moment when she knows He must realize the full import of His being connected with every other human being by virtue of His very Incarnation. Perhaps this is what He later would formulate in His parable on the Last Judgment: whatever you…[do] for one of these least brothers of mine, you…[do] for me. [Mt 25:40] Perhaps He needed to grok the depth and the encompassing reality of the 2nd Great Commandment: Do to others as you would have them do to you, [Lk 6:31] and that this included Him on the Divine level as well as the human level.

Mary’s answer: “Yes, this does affect You both as my Son, a fellow human being, one who is truly empathetic to all the vagaries and vicissitudes of live, the manifestations of the effect of sin in the world, of which lack and need, deprivation, running out of things, is always a sign. Your Father so loved this crazy, mixed up world with all its foibles that He gave us You so that we might believe in You and not perish but have eternal life, [Jn 3:16] Of Him, You will tell us do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’… Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. [Mt 6:31-33] You and the Father are one. [Jn 10:30] Show us the Father’s love here and now. You will talk the talk later, now walk the walk.”

How does she join Him in bringing about His first miracle? This is same way every believer who has ever “preformed” a miracle joins Him. No human actually “performs” a miracle. God does the performing; humans only express their explicit faith and trust in God to do so and thus are instruments through which God chooses to work. Every miracle not performed directly by Jesus is performed through the faith and instrumentality of a person requesting Jesus intercession and believing absolutely that He will intercede. The human person gives him/herself up to God and invites God to work through him/her; she/he transforms her/his self into God’s instrument.

Mary is not trying to override His or the Father’s timing of His hour, but, as with the Finding so many years before, she has explicit faith that, given her explanation, Jesus will do “the right thing.” She doesn’t press Him. She doesn’t define what He is to do, but she has an explicit faith that He will know what to do. Thus, when she says to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you,”[Jn 2:5] she lets go and lets God. Her statement is another way of saying what she says with her whole life, in her dormition, her assumption and even as she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth: May it be done to me according to your word. [Lk 1:38]

Obedience, then, comes back to its root meaning, “to listen to.” It’s not so much doing as being, as listening, as following, as joining in the yolk next to Jesus. To hear and let it be done to me, to have faith and trust in God, in whatever His eternal Now brings for my next step. It is to pick up one’s cross daily and to follow the Word, strap on His burden, take on His yolk and walk the world’s roads to the Calvaries of today with Him. It is to listen and hear the Spirit’s whispers of guidance and inspiration, to follow the promptings of one’s true heart, to the love of God and our fellow man to which we are called by our very nature as familial members, not just of the human family but of the very familial Body of Christ. We would not be here if it were not for God’s creation and we would not be human without accepting our place in the family of humankind and thus our relationship to all others.

Jesus obeys, Mary obeys, we obey, I obey. Listen, listen, listen and allow it to be done onto me. This is our calling, this is our “vocation,” this is our purpose in life. Amen. Alleluia!!!


[1] As with all my writings, I explain things in the way they make sense to me. In doing so, I often blindly wander into minefields of explanation into which scholars, saints and angels wisely do not venture. Therefore, take all I write not just with a grain of salt but with a whole mine of it. Please, please, please consider that I am just me, one very finite, very myopic, often very confused and mistaken man. I am often wrong. However, God guarantees the infallibility of the Catholic Church. Thus, if anything that I write contradicts or in any way conflicts with what the One, Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church has stated or defined, I profoundly apologize to my readers for misleading them, to the Church for contradicting our infallible Faith, Scripture and Tradition, and I beg God to have mercy on me, forgive me and write straight the crooked lines your wayward servant has written. I beg the forgiveness of all and ask for your prayers that I might have the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to see aright once again.

[2] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Hereafter, NABRE.

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Mary tells all…the Resurrection

My son is alive!!! Jesus is alive! So that’s what He meant by “after three days, I will rise from the dead.”[1][Mk 8:31, 9:31; Mt 17:23, 27:63; Lk 18:33] I saw Him early that Sunday morning. I had been crying, hoping, waiting, and suddenly, there He was. We hugged, and kissed and cried…and hugged. I held Him as close as I had when He was a baby, and again on Friday, when they took Him down from the Cross and laid his lifeless body in my arms…but now He was back…alive!!! I was overjoyed. He was really here. All in white, bright, dazzling white [Lk 9:29], just like the boys described Him on the mountain. But He was also just like Friday, but the wounds were somehow glorious, amazing, wonderful now.

Then, He had to go. I knew everyone was looking for Him. Even when he use to preach and teach, He was always telling the boys: Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. [Mk 1:38]

I asked Him to please see Peter. That poor boy was absolutely devastated; not only had he deserted Jesus when He said He wouldn’t [Mt 26:33,35], not only had he swore he would lay down his life for Him [Jn 13:37]; but then he denied he even knew Him three times, just as Jesus had predicted. [Mk 14:72] Peter’s been inconsolable ever since. Jesus said He knew and would see him after reassuring the other women.

Later, He appeared to the rest of the group. Even though Peter, I, Mary, and the boy’s mothers [Mt 27:56,61;28:1] told them we had seen Jesus, they kept saying the story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe us. [Lk 24:9-11] But then, suddenly, locked doors and all, He was right there and they could see Him and touch Him. I think seeing Him eat in front of them finally convince them He was for real. [Lk 24:36-43]

Of course, dear Thomas, he wasn’t there that Sunday. He refused to be convinced in spite of the fact that all of us told him. Finally, when he saw those glorious holes in my Son’s hands and that gaping gleaming wound in His side, when my Son was right there, standing and talking to him, Thomas was convinced. He even said what I had known all along from Gabriel, from the beginning, from being His mother, that my Son, my Boy, was not only their Jesus; He was also their Lord and their God! [Jn 20:28]

As usual, He is his own Man. He kept telling us that He is in each of us, even the least of these [Mt 25:40-45] Perhaps that’s why sometimes some of us didn’t recognize Him. Even Mary Magdalene who loved Him more than many, even she was fooled early that morning, thinking He was a gardener. Only when He said her name, did she know Him. [Jn 20:15-16]

The most wonderfully humorous appearance was to two of our newcomers. So fervent they were before the crucifixion, and then, when he died, they were completely devastated.[Lk 24:17] Jesus told me about it later. They didn’t recognize Him at all at first; after His Resurrection, He was different somehow…it was as though we needed to adjust our eyes to see Him. They were just so distraught that when my Son, the teaser, pretended not to know what was going on, they lit into Him as if He were a simpleton: Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?[Lk 24:18] Then they poured out their version of who He was, their great expectations of Him, what had happened to Him. They even admitted that they hadn’t believed the women from our group and some of those with us [Lk 24:22,24] that said that He was not in the tomb.

My Son is very patient. He pointed out that they needed to study the Neviʾim[2]: You are slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?[Lk 24:25-26] Well, anyway, after He enlightened them by pointing out where our prophets foretold His suffering, death and resurrection, they wanted Him to stay. So, He joined them for dinner. You must understand that my Son has a unique way of blessing the food. When He did this ritual, they finally recognized Him.

According to those two, He then disappeared. Since He came back, He does that, all of a sudden appear and then equally amazingly disappear. I think He is seeing as many people as possible since He loves them all and knows they all want to see Him. I know once, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once [1Cor 15:6].

Now He is going to leave again. He’s homesick, in a sense. Recently, he’s been saying things like I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father. [Jn 16:28] I guess it’s time for him to return to Him. He said once: I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. [Jn 6:38] He’s done that; he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Now, it’s time that God greatly exalt him. [Phil 2:8-9]

He has been warning us, telling us that he will be leaving from early on[3] but particularly recently at the Passover Supper when He said: My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you….Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered [him], “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” [Jn 13:33,36

We thought, after His crucifixion, that perhaps He was referring to persecution and death. But then, He spoke about His Father’s house…in which there were many dwelling places. He said He was going to prepare a place for us: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where [I] am going you know the way. [Jn 14:3-4]

I recall that He said He had to go in order to send us a helper: I am going to the one who sent me…. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you….When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. [Jn 16:5,7,13] My Son was a great one for Truth, perhaps because He got questioned so often if what He was saying was the Truth. But, as He himself said of Himself and I knew to be true from the moment I conceived Him, I am the way and the truth and the life.[Jn 14:6]

He made it very clear; He came from the Father…into the world.[Jn16:28a], the same Father, who is the Lord God, the “Most High” to whom Gabriel referred[4], the same Father to whom Jesus referred long ago in the Temple when Joseph and I found Him[5], the Father to whom He constantly referred in His teaching as being the One whose will He was carrying out[6], whose actions He was mirroring on earth[7], whose unconditional love he as here to show us[8], but now, He is leaving the world and going back to the Father. [Jn 16:28b] Even His disciples said, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.[Jn 16:29]

Even though He was leaving us in the world, he was very concerned about our safety and prayed to the Father: And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to youI do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. [Jn 17:11,15]

Then it was time for Him to return to His Father. He stayed with us over a month after His death. In a sense, I think He was of two minds, His human nature wanted to stay, but His divine nature wanted to go. He always ultimately followed His divine nature; that was His lode stone, His unerring compass that always was true, was loving, always what His Father wanted and therefore He wanted. I think that he also realized that by staying, He could only be in one place at a time, with one group of people at a time. And He could not send His Spirit. By going to the Father, He then was able to dispense His Spirit everywhere.

Since His death, we travelled to Galilee and back, and now we’re here in Jerusalem again, in the same place we held the Passover. From here, he lead us out to His favorite place, the Mount of Olives near Bethany,[9] He blessed us as He usually did, reminded us to stay here in Jerusalem until He sent the Spirit[10], and that we were to baptize in the names of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of sin[11] and teach everyone to do all that He commanded us.

Then He just went up into the sky until He was covered by a cloud. We were so amazed we just kept watching…and finally two angels appeared there with us and broke the spell and told us that He would come again in the same way…

They say: “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” but for us, for some reason, we were all giddy with joy. He was here. He promised to be with us always. He is coming again. We knew the Son of God, and He proved it himself. We touched Him, held Him, heard Him, ate with Him. And He taught us so much, not only by His words but more often by what He did. Some of our family thought He was mad[12], but He was just being my Son. Headstrong, focused, deliberate,…and yet loving, caring, understanding.

Well, I look forward to living in one of those “dwelling places” He mentioned. But, in the meantime, I have to look after my “new” son, John [Jn 19:26] and, of course, the “boys.” I think Jesus gave me them so I wouldn’t miss Him so much…kinda like caring after Him again, these “least ones.” Besides, I have a feeling that this Spirit Jesus is sending is going to change everything….

To be continued…..

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

[2] The Hebrew Bible is organized into three main sections: the Torah, or “Teaching,” also called the Pentateuch or the “Five Books of Moses”; the Neviʾim, or Prophets; and the Ketuvim, or Writings. It is often referred to as the Tanakh, a word combining the first letter from the names of each of the three main divisions.

[3] I will be with you only a little while longer, and then I will go to the one who sent me. You will look for me but not find [me], and where I am you cannot come. [Jn 7:33-34] I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come. [Jn 8:21] The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. [Jn 12:35]. See also OT predictions of his departure: Dt 4:29; Prv 1:28; Is 55:6; Hos 5:6.

[4] Lk 1:28,30,32.

[5] Lk 2:49.

[6] Jn 4:34; 5:30; 14:10, etc.

[7] Jn 5:9; 8:28.

[8] Jn 3:16,17.

[9] Acts 1:12; Lk 24:50.

[10] Lk 24:49.

[11] Mt 28:19; Lk 24:47.

[12] Mk 3:21.