One of the two Biblical quotes of a Marian nature “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2,5), which comes from the story of the miracle of Cana, is the basis for how the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary view that we should be in the world.
Both Adelaide de Cice and Pierre Joseph de Cloriviere believed in the importance of being open and responsive to the will of God in all that we endeavor to do. So it is no surprise that the above quote had a strong influence in Adelaide’s life and in the formation of the Society.
When one initially reads the above quote, it is obviously telling us to conform our actions to God’s will. However, there is far more to the quote than initially meets the eye. Although the instructions are given to servants at the banquet, Mary’s instruction, simple and clear-cut, is given to us as well. We must respond in faith by doing whatever God tells us to do. In his book Daily We Touch Him, Practical Religious Experiences, Basil Pennington points out that in the wedding at Cana, “Mary is teaching us how to pray. To put her lesson in a word’ No need is too human or trivial, just simply set it before the Lord for He loves.” (pg. 110). Mary saw a need and took the initiative of approaching Jesus to point out the need. Once she pointed out the need, she waited in faith for Jesus to act, although she did not know what Jesus would do to fulfill her request for help.
Mary is also giving us a practical example of how we should to be aware of the needs of others and in turn put them in touch with God. She is also showing us how to respond to the needs of others with faith, confidence and courage. When Mary first approached Jesus with the statement that “They have no wine,” Jesus response was “Woman, how does your concern affect me?” This can easily be seen as rejection of her request for help, however Mary’s faith was such that she knew that Jesus would help and it was because of her faith that she told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. As we know from the various stories of miracles, Jesus never rejected the request of anyone who asked something of him in faith. Pennington also points that “Mary had expressed a need—the need of others that she had made her own—and her faith in His love never wavered. "I tell you solemnly, if you have faith and do not waiver in your heart, not only will you do what I have done, but even greater things … If you have faith everything you ask for in prayer you will receive.’”(pg. 110). Pennington continues by saying that in telling the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them, “... is the practical response of faith. He is my God, He is my Lord, He is my love, He knows what is best;” (pg. 111).
An important aspect to keep in mind in the story of the miracle at Cana, is that it is not enough to ask, we must cooperate with Jesus. As we know, not only did Mary ask Jesus to help, she spoke to the servants. The servants, in turn, cooperated by filling the jars with water and taking them to the Steward. Without their cooperation, the miracle would not have occurred.
Our founders in choosing the above quote as one of our foundational scriptures, they have given us a practical example of how to be obedient, how to pray, how to relate to the needs of others, how to put our faith into action, and how to be persistent in the face of apparent rejection.
Are there needs that you would like to take to God/Jesus that you are reluctant to do for fear that they are too trivial? When you do ask for help from God for something, what do you do to cooperate in the process? Do you believe that God is waiting to work a miracle in your life? Linda DHM