Seeking God’s help with Mary

She knows how it is done. Mary plays a special role not only during Advent. She already did so at the wedding in Cana. To find out what this account has to do with the Church and the faithful today, read on. Explanations from a divine service.

It was the first recorded miracle of the Redeemer. At the wedding in Cana, the hosts ran out of wine and Jesus transformed water into wine, thereby setting a sign. After all, every devout Jew was aware of the promise of the prophet Isaiah, Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider explained: “When the Redeemer comes, He will make a feast with fine wine.”

The Chief Apostle made clear that Mary’s part at this wedding was quite significant. “His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it,’” we can read in John 2: 5, which was used for this divine service on 4 November 2018 in Fellbach (Germany). But what does that have to do with us today? “In Christian tradition, Mary is an image for the church of Christ.”

Mary identified a problem and wanted to help. She blamed no one nor did she ask who was responsible. “This is the kind of sensibility we should have when we notice that people are lacking something. We do not accuse them, we do not even want to know why. We merely establish: these souls live far from God. Let us help them!”

Mary knew exactly where to go for help. She turned to Jesus and asked for His help. “That is why we come to God and pray for our fellow human beings—those on earth and those in the beyond. We feel sorry for them and do not stop praying for them.”

Mary understood that she cannot force anything. She accepted Jesus’ rebuke. “We cannot tell God what to do. God desires salvation for all of mankind! But He offers it to whom He wants, when He wants, and how He wants.” But because we trust in God and because we love our neighbour we pray for the salvation of mankind.

Mary knew that Jesus would come to her aid through His word. She limited herself to intercession and instruction. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” The Chief Apostle went on to say, “Humans always expect God to intervene directly. And now Jesus comes and says, ‘No! I am not going to do anything. It’s up to you to do something!’ You must believe in God. You have to believe that His word is the help. And whoever puts this word into practice will experience help and obtain salvation.”

Mary was so convinced that she came across as convincing. This is how she could convince the people to do what Jesus would tell them. “Whoever lives the gospel will obtain peace and grace, and will have joy. This is not only good advice. Because if we in fact demonstrate this in word and deed, we can still win many a soul.”

First there was water, then wine. Some people are of the opinion: “Why of all things does God offer us Holy Communion, baptism, or sealing now? Things are in such a bad way! We are experiencing distress and need. We really need something different now!” But the Chief Apostle explained, “The more we do the word of God, the more God can bless us and the more we can obtain salvation. That is how it works.”

The pitchers were filled to the brim. It can happen that our joy and peace in Christ diminish. “Let’s always examine ourselves: ‘Have I filled the pitcher to the brim?’” Let us make sure that the gospel fills our whole life. The miracle will happen. Your joy will grow. Your peace will become deeper and your salvation more perfect. That is true for yonder world and for you and me!”

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Andreas Rother
Germany, Chief Apostle, Divine service