“When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you 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).
As the month of April comes to an end today, we celebrate a Feast that perfectly sets us in the mood for devotion to Mary given that the month of May is Mary’s Month. Today is the feast of Our Lady; Mother of Africa. Our Gospel passage today captures that familiar scene of the Wedding Feast at Cana. The role Mary played in ensuring the miracle is one reason we often take recourse to her when we pray to God. First, Mary understood the problem at hand and immediately informed Jesus that “they have no wine.” In other words, “Do something.” Mary teaches us to have faith in Jesus.
Secondly, we see that Jesus has very high regard for Mary. Jesus initially protested, “My hour has not yet come” but Mary pressed further. Mary teaches us never to give up when we pray for anything. Thirdly, when Mary had successfully convinced Jesus to help the couple, she told the servants: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). Mary teaches us to trust and obey God Fourthly, after the miracle, we do not hear anything from Mary. She simply remained in the background. Mary teaches us humility. She does not beat her chest or brag like some of us do.
Mary is the definition of an intercessor. If we ask human intercessors to pray for us, we should not be afraid to ask Mary to pray for us whether we are Catholics or not. Asking her intercession is not worshipping her. Our first reading tells us that Mary was present with the Apostles in the upper room where they devoted themselves to prayer. They took her as their mother. Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God knows that Mary is not just any woman; she is not an envelope God used and dumped.
In our responsorial psalm today, Mary declares: “Henceforth, all generations will call me blessed” not because she is some goddess but because “He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:48-49). We honour Mary because God honoured her first. Today we celebrate the fact that Mary intercedes for Africa. When Herod sought to kill the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph took shelter in Africa. At a time when our continent is faced with the turmoil, suffering under the yoke of neo-colonialism, we need Mother Mary’s intercession more than ever. Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may your mother pray for us. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 1:12-14, Luke 1:46-55 and John 2:1-11).