By: Sr Teresa Christine, O.C.D.
May is the month when we celebrate our mothers, who gave us life and protected us when we were most vulnerable. Our moms taught us everything we needed to be able to stand on our own. They picked us up when we fell, and kissed our scrapes and bruises. A mother protects her little ones from danger, sacrifices herself to provide for them, and feels both the joy and the pain of her children. She knows them better than anyone else.
This month, we also celebrate the Mother of Jesus. As His mother, Mary saw every scrape, she washed His face when it was dirty, and she made sure He ate his vegetables. She knows Him better than anyone. When we were baptized, and adopted into the family of God, Mary became our spiritual mother. As our mother, Mary teaches us how to stand in Christ, protecting and strengthening us with her prayers. She feels the joy and pain of her children more deeply than we can imagine, and she teaches us by her example and her words how to follow the One whom she knew so intimately as her Son. Mary is the “glory of our race,” the only disciple in history perfectly respond to Christ. Her heart was totally for Jesus, and her whole life was totally receptive to His word. She never betrayed Him, never doubted Him, and never put her own needs ahead of His. She is the perfect disciple, and she teaches us how to follow Him. No matter what the situation we are facing, or the decision we are making, we have her encouragement and example.
When Jesus and His disciples attended the wedding feast at Cana, Luke tells us that “the mother of Jesus was there.” She was there, and they were glad she was there! She was so attentive to the needs of those around her that she was the first to notice when the wine ran out. When the servants needed a miracle, they went to her. This tells us so much about what she was like – she was the one they turned to when they were in need. She instructed them simply: “Do whatever He tells you.” She knew that He would provide, if only they obeyed His word. When we are in need, she gives us the same advice. “Do whatever He tells you.” When we go to Mary, she always leads us to Jesus. She led the wine-less servants to Him, and He instructs them simply: “Fill the jars with water.” Luke tells us that this was His first great miracle, by which he “revealed His glory,” yet He asked nothing more from these servants than a simple task, which they would have done many times before. He asks us, also, for small things – a smile, a kind reply to a quick comment, cleaning up a mess that isn’t ours. He asks us to do what is before us in this moment – make breakfast for a child, love the person in front of you, do the work entrusted to you. This is the “water” of our daily lives, by which we fill up the jars each day, drop by drop. It is precisely in the middle of these little things that He loves to work miracles.
When we follow His lead, He will help us begin to do these little things with love. When the servants filled the jars with water, they “filled them up to the brim.” He is asking us to fill our jars to the brim with these little drops of water, small and ordinary and filled with love. He takes our little offering and transforms it into something beyond anything we could have ever done on our own. He turned the water into wine, taking ordinary water, and by it He manifested His glory, so that we might believe in Him, as His disciples did at Cana. And He wants to take the water of our own lives and transform it, in a way that is just as miraculous. One small step at a time, responding to His voice little by little, He leads and guides us in the big decisions of our lives. He never asks us to do anything beyond what we are capable of. He reveals His will to us one step at a time, never running ahead of us, or pushing us faster than our feet can travel. By listening for His voice, moment by moment, He will guide us into places we never would have dreamed to travel on our own. And our Lady is there, by our side, leading us always to Him, always attentive to our needs and ready to help us.