I haven't posted about the mysteries of the Rosary for quite awhile but one has been buzzing around in my brain for awhile. Here goes:
Most people have heard the gospel story of the Wedding at Cana. It is often referred to as Christ's first miracle. The family hosting the wedding has run out of wine. Mary, Jesus' mother, tells Jesus that the family about the situation. Jesus responds to his mother that His time has not yet come. Mary goes to the family servants telling them to, "Do whatever He tells you to do." Jesus tells the servants to fill some jars with water and when the water is poured for a drink, it has become the best wine to be served.
Much has been made of the idea that Jesus, even though He is the Son of God, does what his mother asked him to do. Jesus' miracle of turning water into wine is a miracle and ripe with symbolism.
My focus is on the phrase, "Do whatever He tells you to do." It's easy for the reader or listener to mentally add to that phrase, "And a miracle will happen," "The water will be turned into wine," etc. But to me the important phrase is just, "Do whatever He tells you to do." According to Scripture, Mary didn't add anything to that phrase. We tend to believe that she felt Jesus would do something to save the family embarassment from running out of wine. And her pointing out the shortage to Jesus seems to imply she wants Him to do something. Did she know what He would do? We'll never know. But the phrase, "Do whatever He tells you to do," is profound even without the "and a miracle will happen...," "you will be blessed...," or whatever the following might be.
Isn't that concept of "Do whatever He tells you do do" enough? If Jesus tells us to do something, we can be assured that, since He is the Son of God, that He would never lead us astray. He would only tell us to do what is good and right, kind and merciful, charitable and forgiving.
I hear so often the prayer phrases, "If you pray..., then God will...," or a variety of other similar ideas. In other words, it's like a bargaining tool. We do this so God will do that. The problem with that concept is that bargaining with God can be extremely frustrating and can cause all kinds of problems. For instance, you pray, fast, etc., for someone and they remain sick and possibly die. Then we shout at God, "I prayed and you didn't answer." Exchange that idea with praying simply because God and Jesus tell us to. There's no bargaining; we are simply doing what Jesus said to do. Then, if things don't work out the way we prayed that they would, we can tell ourselves that we prayed for that person because Jesus told us to. There's no sense of God not fulfilling His part of the bargain because we aren't bargaining. There's no sense of, "I must not have prayed hard enough." After all, the simplest prayer, the one that comes from the heart is another thing Jesus requested us to do. He never said the one who prays the hardest will be heard any more than the simplest prayer.. It's not an "if/then" situation. It becomes an, "I followed Jesus' request and that's enough for me."