Kimberly Lynch contemplates the Gospel story that has deeply affected her relationship with the Blessed Mother.
It’s a time of year where many of the faithful meditate on the courage and conviction of our Blessed Mother as she prepares for the birth of the Savior of the World. From her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel, to her arduous but joyful visit with Elizabeth, to her patience and trust while searching for a room in Bethlehem, each of these scenes reminds us of her immense power cloaked in utter humility. But the story that has drawn me into a relationship with Mary does not take place during her pregnancy or Our Lord’s infancy, but rather at an event that would have otherwise been considered rather commonplace.
"They have no wine."
Perhaps it was a miscalculation. Perhaps it was the result of careless planning. Perhaps extra guests showed up and the count was unanticipated. Many would take the opportunity to laugh and criticize at such a grand faux pas, but Mary’s compassionate heart sinks with the hearts of the newlyweds.
She’s not shocked or even mildly offended by the impropriety. She doesn’t gossip and scoff at the newlywed’s poor planning. She empathetically knows how much this event means to the bride and groom, and the first impression it will leave on the guests who will judge something so petty. She understands and her tender heart is moved.
She’s paying attention to the small details, a superpower than many empaths claim, and she pleads with Our Lord to help them in this particular small detail that so many would overlook.
And isn’t that the case with so many of us women in modern times? We take care of so many details that hardly anyone notices ... until, of course, something goes wrong. And that deep responsibility and sensitivity, coupled with our own pressures and urgency that we place upon ourselves, breeds this anxious and dissatisfied heart, fiercely loving her dearest relationships, but slowly resenting that she has to take care of it all.
Mary sees you. She sees not only all the details you carry, but the weight of each and every one of them. While others may brush past you and shrug at your sour face, she gently cups your face in her hands, and her eyes knowingly pierce into your weary soul. All while maintaining eye contact with you, she pleads with her Son:
“She has no friends and family nearby since she moved to this new town.”
“She has no space in an overcrowded house and no money to afford a bigger place.”
“She has no baby after two years of trying.”
“She has no time to rest between her job and her kids.”
“She has no joy since she started experiencing postpartum depression.”
“She has no spark with her husband as they both feel buried under the pressures of life.”
“She has no solutions for her kids who are struggling in school, despite all the effort she is putting in to help them succeed.”
She pleads for you, boldly approaching the throne of the King, her eyes steadily keeping her gaze on His radiant face. And of course Our Lord knows what she is going to say already, even before she approaches Him. But He is moved by her keen observation, her persistence, and her love. And she knows He is all-powerful, that He can do whatever He wants. But she doesn’t hesitate to bring these “petty” problems to His attention anyway.
And so He decides to take action. He stretches forth His hand over the pile of mess you find yourself in, and somehow it transforms from mundane to miraculous.
You take her hand firmly as you get back up on your feet, and you dust yourself off and shake off the timidity and indecisiveness you’ve been harboring. And with renewed boldness and resolution, your eyes gaze intently into hers as she gives you the last bit of advice:
“Do whatever He tells you.”
Copyright 2020 Kimberly Lynch
Image: Unsplash (2018)
About the Author
Kimberly is a Catholic convert, writer, wife, and mother to six awesome children. She blogs at PassingThroughMountains.com, where she encourages her readers to recognize sparks of joy despite the arduous climb up life’s inevitable mountains. She enjoys running in the morning, a strong cup of coffee, reading a good book with her feet up, and hiking in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where she and her husband raise their brood.