“His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you’.” – John 2:5
There are many reasons to love Mary. As followers of Christ, we hold her up as the symbol of humility and service. She is the perfect role model for devoutness, quiet strength and steadfastness.
Her story is of a woman not seeking the spotlight, but only the will of God. That cooperation with the Holy Spirit led her to become the first disciple, while her Lord was still in her womb. It also led her all the way to the foot of the cross, where Jesus put His own suffering aside in His final moments to look after her.
The above scripture quote comes from an event known as the Feast of Cana. The feast was a wedding reception! Why it’s in the Gospel is because it is the first recorded miracle of Jesus, a miracle that occurred because of the direct intercession of His (and our) mother Mary.
If you are not familiar with the event, here is what happened. Mary, Jesus and His disciples were attending a wedding and the wine ran out. Such an unfortunate scene would have been as embarrassing back then as it would be today! In fact more so, because they didn’t have so many drink options back then. Running out of wine meant well water only. Mary immediately brought the news to Jesus, who initially tried to push back on the request to intervene.
Mary was not dissuaded at all. Instead she simply turned to the wait staff and directed them to do what her son told them to do. Large stone jars were filled with water and when the headwaiter tasted what had been drawn out of one of the jars, he was surprised to taste wine instead of water. He also remarked the it was better than the vintage that was originally served!
Now the Church sees this event as the Lord’s initial manifestation as Messiah, to the entire spiritually thirsty nation of Israel. But it’s also very significant that it was Mary’s urging that made Jesus take such extraordinary action.
And lastly, it is noteworthy that Mary’s words to the servants represent her final direct quote in Scripture. It is understood (and fitting) that the command is also meant for us – the modern day servers. Those words, “Do whatever He tells you”, are both encouragement and admonishment, for every Christian. With them, Mary defines her role going forward for all eternity.
She forever remains the one who points everyone to her son. And she forever remains the one standing beside us, with great interest and hope for our participation, in her son’s works.
So now you see the blueprint for your relationship with Mary, but what does this have to do with your career?
I’m so glad you asked.
The workers at that wedding reception in Cana were just doing their jobs. They all had their own lives and stories, and none of them that evening had any ideas that they were about to witness a miracle.
None of them were able to comprehend how their shift on the job that evening would be discussed thousands of years later. They just did what was asked of them, and filled some jars with water. God did the rest.
They might not have thought they were doing something important at all, but they soon would have a real story to tell. Soon they could inform everyone they knew about what this Jesus, the son of Mary, and a guest at the wedding, did to their amazement.
And even though the servers that evening may not have thought very highly of their own tasks, or in their own abilities, they got to be a part of something unforgettable, just by listening and cooperating with Mary and Jesus.
Regardless of our current positions within our organizations, as Catholic professionals we all have the same mission – that mission is to serve God and others. It is our responsibility to serve those above us, around us and especially those under us.
The higher we climb up the ranks in any organization or industry, the greater this responsibility becomes. It is what separates leaders from bosses. The world has plenty of bosses – and it’s parched for some real leaders.
The very best way to accomplish our missions is to listen to Mary’s instruction, and do whatever Jesus tells us.
She will remain by our side, and point the way whenever we need some direction. The work may not be glamorous, but I promise you, in the end, it will be unforgettable.