Thursday, December 29, 2011

Filling Up

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 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.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 2:1-11

I find one of the hardest thing about being a mom, now that my daughters are all adults, is hearing them talk down on themselves, and having them not see how wonderful and capable they are. Life is hard and it has been a very challenging year for all of us, but God blessed each of them with enormous gifts, intellect and compassionate personalities. And yes, it is easy to become discouraged. My job as a parent is not to correct them but to remind them how wonderful they are, what a blessing they are to so many, and to encourage their gifts. It is sort of like being a constant cheerleader and coach at the same time. They don't really need me, they are fantastic just as they are, but they need encouragement to trust and use the myriad of gifts they have been given.

I guess that is what Mary is doing in our Gospel today. She has watched this young man grow, remembers his first starry night, the wise men, the angels and the desperate flight into Egypt. Any mother would have done likewise for her child. She was carrying God's child, gifted with blessings beyond measure, God incarnate, and he was still having a hard time living into all of his gifts. She forced his hand a bit. He snarls back a bit, and like all mothers and grown children, relationship can be challenging. She knows what he can do, and yet her amazing child is reluctant. His humanity and doubt overshadowed his true gifts. Like us mere mortals, Jesus had to struggle with the challenges of life and find a way to use his true gifts and live as the savior he was made. We mere mortals don't have to be Jesus, thank God, but we are invited to fully use the gifts we have been given, with the promise that God will increase them and fill us, over and over again, to overflowing.

Today I ask God to help us all use the gifts and skills we have been given, for the good of the whole world. May we serve others our best, with love and compassion, so that others may see the touch and blessing of God in us, and in our handiwork. May our lives reflect the generosity of God, the fullness that overflows, day after day, loving and blessing each one of us and the whole world.

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