DHM Connection Blog
Do whatever he tells you (JN 2,5) Part Two
“Like Mary, let us be guided by the purest of intents in the smallest of actions.” Adeelaide de Cice, September 7, 1809
Although as a Daughter of the Heart of Mary, my primary focus is on Mary and how she lived “Do whatever he tells you,” I would be remiss not to point out how Joseph also lived the quote, especially when it came to putting his faith in action and being obedient to God’s will.
One of two episodes in the bible we are familiar with is when an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife (Matt 1, 21-24) and when he awoke, he did what the angel had told him to do. Joseph chose to obey the angel even though he had to set aside his ego in the process. Although he was within his rights to take Mary as his wife before the end of the normal betrothal period, custom was to wait a year. Joseph’s decision to follow the angel’s command would cause some people to misjudge and criticize both Joseph and Mary, yet he chose to do so regardless of the consequences. Needless to say, the fact that Mary would deliver the baby six months later would also open them up to criticism by some people, but he chose to cooperate with God and do as he was told.
A second incident that comes to mind is when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt (Matt 2, 13-15). In this instance, by choosing to do as he was told, they had to leave the comfort of family, friends, work, and country to go to Egypt where they would be foreigners and immigrants. Although he was probably sure that he would eventually be able to find work as a carpenter, he had no idea how long it would take to find work and housing. Did they have enough financial resources until they could get settled? How long would they need to remain in Egypt? These were just a few of his concerns. Yet, he chose to do as he was told without counting the cost and thereby protecting Mary and Jesus and putting his faith into action.
It is obvious that the Holy Family had a strong faith based foundation so I am not surprised that at the wedding in Cana, Mary acted as she did. She had a long history of responding in faith to the urgings of God. Mary’s action at the wedding is another example of acting in faith and trusting that God will respond to a person’s needs even if it is not clear how that will occur. Although it was a miracle that the water became wine, it is good example of how God can take something ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary.
I cannot help but to believe that when Fr. De Cloriviere chose the above quote as one of the foundational scriptures, he believed that not only would it be a catalyst for attracting members to the Society, but also the guiding force behind all of our actions. As stated in Part 1, this particular scripture gives 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—all of which we are called upon to experience some time in our lives, regardless of our vocation. Isn’t it amazing how such a simple exchange between two people can be such a powerful example of all that God is calling us to do?
I invite you to reflect on what has occurred in your life recently as you consider the following questions. How was I obedient to God’s will in each particular circumstance? How did I relate to the needs of others? Did I put my faith in action when called upon? What if, anything, would I do differently in a similar situation? Linda, DHM