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Do Whatever He Tells You

November 6, 2020 Frontpage No Comments

By JOE SIXPACK

There is an old Catholic joke that is loaded with truth…as many of them are. It seems one day Jesus was walking around Heaven with St. Peter. Peter noticed Jesus kept making a surprised expression on His face as certain people walked by. Peter knew what was on his Lord’s mind and was waiting for the ax to fall.
After a while, Jesus finally asked St. Peter, “Why are all these people here whom I haven’t let into Heaven, Peter?” Nervous and exasperated, Peter replied, “Lord, it’s your Mother’s fault.”
“How is it my Mother’s fault?” He asked.
Peter replied, “When these folks show up wanting into Heaven and I know you haven’t given them permission, I close the door. But every time I close a door, your Mother opens a window!” Jesus merely smiled and dropped the subject.
The Blessed Virgin Mary has always been our Lord’s chief evangelist, and that explains why she is able to open windows when St. Peter closes doors. So I’d like to take a moment to talk about the Mother of Us All.
Perhaps the very best source in all of Sacred Scripture to learn about the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Gospel According to Luke. This Gospel is sometimes referred to as the Gospel of Mary, because it’s very obvious Luke interviewed Mary before he wrote his wonderful and exciting account of the life of Christ.
Non-Catholics and, sadly, many Catholics seem to pooh-pooh the idea that Mary was anything other than a necessary means of getting the Second Person of the Trinity to Earth in human form. However, we see every step of the way that she was much more than that.
Being immaculately conceived (another topic for a future article), Mary had neither personal sin nor the stain of original sin. Therefore, her will was always perfectly in tune to the will of the Trinity. Of course, Mary never knew she’d been immaculately conceived, so when Gabriel greeted her with the title “full of grace” (Luke 1:28), Mary was troubled by the greeting.
After greeting her, Gabriel offered her the opportunity to become the mother of the Messiah — the Mother of God. No, contrary to what those opposed to Marian devotion would have us believe, the angel didn’t merely inform her what she was to do then leave her; he was truly asking her. You’ll note in Luke 1:26-38, after the angel told her what God wanted, he patiently waited for Mary to make her decision: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”
Then, Scripture says, “And the angel departed from her.” If you have any doubt about the angel’s courtesy in making his request (and not a demand) from God, compare how he dealt with Zechariah when announcing the coming of John the Baptist to him and his wife Elizabeth.
From that moment, Mary knew she had been given a very special role in salvation history, and that her Child would indeed be more than a mere prophet. The Holy Spirit also revealed this to her cousin, Elizabeth, when Mary went to stay with her until John was born: “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’ (Luke 1:41-43).
Then Mary went on to recite what we call the Magnificat in which she prophesied that “henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”
The entire first two chapters of Luke deal with nothing but Mary’s divine maternity and Jesus’ entrance into the world. You should read it carefully and meditatively. It’s a real eye-opener.
Perhaps the greatest indicator of Mary’s role in Christ’s plan of salvation for mankind is found in the second chapter of John’s Gospel. “On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’,”
We all know what happened next. The servants filled six large stone jars with water, and Jesus turned it into wine. But this is an incredibly pregnant passage and should be examined more closely.
[Author’s Note: Addressing Mary as “woman” was merely a solemn means of address in Jesus’ day, and not a term of derision as it is today. Also different from the way we speak today, Jesus’ statement in Aramaic (more traditionally translated as “What is it to me and to thee?”) would be thought of by the Jews of our Lord’s time as “Don’t worry, all will turn out well.” No matter how it is viewed today, in the context of the story it was certainly not any sort of rebuke.]
Mary, always concerned for others and fearful of seeing the newlyweds embarrassed by the lack of wine for the feast, informed her Son of the problem with an implied request to do something about it. Jesus tells her His time has not yet come. He is basically saying, “Look, Mom, you know that if I begin my public ministry now there will be no turning back. You know why I came into the world and creating wine now will be the beginning of the end. Are you ready for that?” Mary responded to her Son by turning to the servants and saying, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Mary’s heart and will were perfectly in tune with her Son’s. She knew His first public miracle hasten an end to their earthly mother and son relationship, but she loved God and His people far more than she loved that natural and supernatural bond.
And this is what Mary has been doing since that day. For twenty centuries she has been telling us to “do whatever He tells you.” That is why she gave us the rosary, the Brown Scapular, and her messages through Church approved apparitions like Fatima, Lourdes, Banneux, and Guadalupe. She has given us warnings, pled with us for our prayers to Almighty God, implored us to renounce our desires of the flesh so as to avoid Hell, insisted that we share the faith with others, and interceded for us by begging her Son to be patient a little longer and hold back His hand for a much deserved punishment on mankind — a punishment I fear we can no longer escape.
Mary continues today to open windows to Heaven for us. She never stops doing so. She is the Mother of God — the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ. What son will ignore the pleas of his mother? Certainly Jesus proved that He wouldn’t . . . and doesn’t. Because she is His mother, she is also our mother. She pleads with us to turn from the world and toward her Son.
It is long past the time for us to do that, but not too late. Jesus said, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16). So it’s time for us to get serious about our holy and ancient faith; time for us to follow Mary as she leads us to her Son when she says, “Do whatever he tells you.”
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

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