Friday, January 15, 2010

Listening to Mom

When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” John 2:3-5

In a few weeks my mother will celebrate her 87th birthday. She has lived through so much in her life and remains positive and faithful in her daily life. She still lives on her own and takes care of herself. She's active in the community and many church and outreach endeavors. She has also grown into her own leadership. Let's admit it, my mother is still in charge. She often calls herself the family patriarch, and when I was made a bishop decided to call herself the Mother Superior. And from early on, I learned to do what she told me. Whether from self preservation, instinct or intelligence, I caught on to the idea that doing what she said was not an option. This is true, even in my adult life, although she rarely asks me to do something I wouldn't be glad to do. When I was younger, it was another story entirely.

Jesus is at a wedding in Cana and the wine has run out. Mary thinks her son can do something about it. We hear his initial response, the rebellion of a child to a mother. But we soon learn that he quickly assesses the situation and does what his mom says. Praying that God would make a miracle happen just might have been easier than crossing his mother. Mary also urged Jesus to act on his capacity, a capacity she had waited for all of his life. Sometimes a parent can see potential and capacity when they child can't. And sometimes, there is a job to be done. Mary knew both her son's capacity and the promises of God. Folks were waiting.

Today, I want to rejoice in the gifts my mother gave me, along with the support, urging, chores, discipline and upbraiding I received. From her strength and faith I have received endless gifts. And I want to give thanks for all the others who have helped form me as a Christian, a Bishop, a mother, a wife and a child of God. It is never easy to receive discipline and direction, but God has blessed me with many faithful folks who gave to me from their heart and their wisdom. May this day be the day we honor the wisdom we have received and the people that have been faithful in our formation and "fethcin' up". May we know the hand of God love in their faithfulness to us today.

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