March 22, 2017: Heaven Has a Mother’s Heart

~by Louis Templeman


When Mary, the mother of Jesus, was about 46-years old she found herself involved in a wedding. She discovered more people attending than the hosts were prepared for. Or, perhaps, the wedding guests were lingering over their cups and calling for refills at a frequency not anticipated. Or, as Ann Rice laid it out, there was a robbery of the caravan that was bringing the wine to Capernaum. We don’t know why there was a shortage. All we know is that at some point the scarcity was noted and Mary wanted the problem to be solved.

She probably wasn’t the only one worrying about it or working on a fix. However, her plan of action was the most unusual as well as the only efficacious solution.

She looked at the worried hosts who would be unbelievably ashamed. They looked like they were being crushed by one of the worst social embarrassments that could befall a Jewish family. Mary looked at the couple whose wedding was being celebrated and saw them joyous and happy and unaware of the shame and scorn that would ride every memory and mention of this event.

She looked at her son, Jesus Should she dare enlist his aid? She knew who he was. If anyone knew him and his calling it was she. She knew who was even before he arrived at the point of self-revelation. What had she witnessed of her son during his childhood and young adulthood? Surely, there were memories, even mysteries she kept secret as a careful steward of God’s most holy trust. To this day there are writings regarding his miracles as a child. These unsubstantiated legends from gnostic writings; which seek to fill in the blanks of the silent days of his youth. Only Mary knew what he was capable of. And, she knew he could fix things, if he decided to.

She knew he was on the verge of going public. His baptism by his cousin John was attended by supernatural signs. He had disappeared for over a month for prayer. She knew from the beginning he would be the Messiah. And, now he was gathering disciples. Some were with him even now as guests at this wedding. One day soon he would do a breakout sign to inaugurate his Messianic ministry.

Mary knew intuitively the Messiah, her son, would have a special attraction for women. For most of Jewish history women had been useful second class citizens among the covenant people of Israel. However, Mary knew from her interaction with Elizabeth, who knew by the Holy Spirit that Mary was the mother of “my Lord” and she knew from the prophetess Anna’s evangelical pronouncements when she saw Mary and Joseph present the infant in the temple that the Messianic age set in motion through her son would set women free as well as men.

What kind of break-out sign would her son employ to inaugurate his ministry? She looked at the delightful festivities, the scene which was meant to play in the memories of this family, the guests and especially the betrothed couple. Soon, it would come to a disturbing shameful end when the wine ran out.

Why not now? She asked herself. Why not do something here? At a wedding! The singular moment of Jewish identity, family life, community joy and one that relentlessly expressed hope in the future. A wedding is also the perfect admixture of sanctity and party-time, commitment and joy.

She knew this would be the perfect moment to etch his signature on the collective consciousness of the covenant people, and, anyway, she felt for the couple and their families. She wanted the wedding saved. Her son could fix things. She knew enough about him and had experienced enough with him that she had no doubt.

“. . . so Jesus’ mother spoke to him about the problem.” John 2: 3, (New Living Translation).

Jesus appeared to be unmoved.

“. . . Jesus said to her,” Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” John 2: 4, (The New American Bible).

His hour had not yet come, but in five more minutes it would arrive. She had already thought it through. She came into this intercession prepared. It was a good idea on both levels. Good for the host family. And, a good inauguration-miracle. She was his mother. She had rank. She could read him. She knew what she was doing. Without further conversation she presented the servants to him. Having the servants at hand displays how prepared she was for the answer she got. She then spoke a word that still carries prophetic heft and timeless challenge: “Do whatever he tells you.”

Jesus was placed in the valley of decision. He could perform miracle or he could disobey his mother. It was an administrative decision worthy of the Messiah. He did not reply or protest. He simply conceded. His mother is the mother of all intercession. And, as a good intercessor she was suffering with the host and family whose preparation had proved faulty. She knew God was big enough to care for the little things. And, she also knew that, really, this was not a little thing. Such issues of daily life are huge. Did her knowledge of the father’s intimate detailed care of our insignificant lives influence her son’s preaching? Such as:

“If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . will he not much more provide for you . . . Your heavenly Father knows . . .. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given you.” Matthew 6: 30ff, (The New American Bible).

The problem warranted the attention of her son. Her intercession turned Jesus’ question, “How does your concern affect me?”, into a rhetorical one. From that point on her concerns had everything to do with Jesus. She was and is the perfect intercessor. She suffers with the pitiful and desires to honor God.

When Jesus, at the depth of his agony on the cross, gave John as a son to Mary and Mary as a mother to John I believe he spoke symbolically and prophetically and eternally that in this action he gave all his followers a mother. He showed them heaven has a heart. A mother’s heart. That heaven offers her poor children the precious and detailed, down to all our mundane particulars, prayers of a mother.

Her prayers are indeed precious. And, constant. And, how does she instruct us so that Jesus may break out in our lives?

“Do whatever he tells you.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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