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Thy will be done

After Jesus was baptised in the Jordan he returned home to Galilee to commence his ministry. Shortly after that there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee.

The mother of Jesus was there and so was Jesus, with a few of his disciples.

The story of what happened at this wedding found its way many years after the event into the Gospel according to St. John. Despite the passing of the years it has a very warm and personal feel.

At the same time it reflects understandings of the person and ministry of both Jesus and Mary that had developed in first faith communities.

The story as told concludes by saying that the changing of water into wine was the first of the signs given by Jesus and that it was given at Cana in Galilee. “He let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him” is the final sentence of the story.

The narrative does not mention Mary by name, but refers to her as the mother of Jesus.

When his mother tells him that they have run out of wine Jesus answers rather abruptly, “Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.”

Nonetheless, Mary persisted; Jesus worked the first of his signs; his hour had come at the instigation of his mother.

This gospel is an extremely carefully constructed narrative so we must relate this passage about Mary to another passage much later in the gospel. When Mary saw his mother from the cross with the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son.”

To the disciple he said, “Here is your mother.” Notice that once again he addresses his mother as woman. Mary was there representing all women and mothers when her son worked his first miracle.

She was there representing all women and mothers when her Son died on the cross. There are many things we can learn from the account of the wedding at Cana in Galilee. One of the most important is Mary’s ever present role as woman and mother in the history of our salvation.

Every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer we say, “Thy kingdom come”. We pray this with fervour in the hope that justice, love and peace will prevail in our troubled world. We know that seeking justice love and peace is God’s will for us. 

Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we are reminded that the key to achieving these out-comes is a deep, unquestioning trust in the revelation of God conveyed to us in the person and message of Jesus of Nazareth.

Just as Jesus could no longer resist the pressure of John’s teaching and life, submitting himself to his will, we too must submit ourselves to the will of God.

For Jesus, as indeed for anyone, baptism was a moment of conversion, of turning even more deliberately to his God. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we too are asking for the strength and courage to submit ourselves to God.



          l Diocese of Sandhurst