Woman

Throw me the ball woman.

Come on woman.

Get out of here woman.

Answer me woman.

 

Throw me the ball man.

Come on man.

Get out of here man.

Answer me man.

 

Do they ring differently in your ear?  How did you read the first few lines versus the last few lines?  Tone matters and your perceptions matter.  What is in the heart matters.  If the first few lines are stated with malice in your heart, its offensive and the same is actually true with the last few lines.  If when you read these lines, you assumed hate, then you possibly misunderstand the intent.

Does Jesus have malice in His heart?  No and never assume that He does.  He is Love.  So why, when we read these lines at the wedding at Cana, would anyone ever think Jesus is admonishing His Mother?

Mary, the Mother of God, notices first that at the wedding in Cana that the feast has run out of wine.  It is a concern she has and “prays” to the Lord.  She prays with complete confidence that He will answer her prayer.

“They have no wine.” John 2:3

“Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?

                My Hour is not yet come.” John 2:4

 

First, Jesus has no malice in His heart.  Consider this though, when Jesus says His Hour, he is referring to His passion, His brutal death on the Cross.  The first good work of Jesus’ ministry is done at the bequest of His Holy Mother.  She is, in effect, giving her consent to start the journey that ends in His Blessed giving of His life – His Hour.

Second, woman is not a negative connotation.  Curious though that He doesn’t call her Mom.  Rather, she is something more than just another mother and He is signifying that changing of roles here with a new title, Woman.  She is THE WOMAN or THE MOTHER.  Just as Jesus is THE SON.  When Jesus calls her woman, He is calling her THE woman or as many consider her rightly, the new Eve.  She is the replacement of our first mother as we are all sons and daughters of Eve, but now, Behold, your Mother, we are now the children of Mary and look to her rather than to Eve.

While dying on the cross he states:

“When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” John 19:26-27

Notice, He doesn’t call John, Man but He does call Mary, Woman.  It is significant that Jesus calls her woman.  While dying on the cross, He would not be cruel to His mother by negatively calling her woman, obviously!  No, the title woman means more here.

Read the wedding exchange this way, less elegant, but to illustrate a point.  (Forgive me St John!)

Mary:  Jesus, the joyful feast will end without more wine.  Please, do something.

Jesus:  Mother of God, Mother of Mercy, future Queen of Heaven and Earth, I can do something, but it will start the process that ends in you watching me dying, horribly on the cross.  Life will change, and it will be difficult.  It must be done this way, but I just want you to know, by me doing this miracle, it begins.

Mary:  Let it be done according to His will.

From Bishop Fulton Sheen’s great work, The Life of Christ, page 90:  “As soon as He had consented to begin His “Hour,” He proceeded immediately to tell her (Mary) that her relations with Him would be henceforth changed.  Until then, during His hidden life, she had been known as the mother of Jesus.  But now that He was launched on the work of Redemption, she would no longer be just His mother, but also the mother of all His human brethren whom He would redeem.  To indicate this new relationship, He now addressed her, not as “Mother” but as the “Universal Mother” or “Woman.”

If you enjoyed this post – I own it all to Bishop Fulton Sheen, who I’m confident would give all glory and honor to the Holy Spirit.

God Bless!

Our Blessed Savior didn’t laugh on the cross

In the garden of Gethsemane:  “Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.”  Matthew 26:38 Again, in Mark 14:34 “Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death.  Remain here and keep watch.”

“Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”  Matthew 26:67

“…he (Pilate) had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:15

In John’s gospel, John 19:28 while dying on the cross, our Blessed Savior cries out, “I thirst.”

 “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.”  Mark 15:37

Jesus walks to His death but not with a smile on His face.  He hurts.  He thirsts.  He cries out.  With all the power to call down a legion of angles, He doesn’t.  Jesus could have ran for it but He doesn’t.

Nowhere in the gospels does Jesus laugh manically at what he’s accomplishing.  He is accomplishing what no man has or ever will do.  The innocent, only innocent man to ever walk the earth, who doesn’t deserve to die, is killed in a brutal fashion.  All men deserve to die for their sins; Jesus, sinless, doesn’t deserve death.

Jesus comes for us, our salvation.  He comes to proclaim the good news.  He comes and tirelessly preaches to turn away from sin towards God.  He comes, fully knowing His death will come at others’ hands.  In the Garden, He’s in anguish, knowing what will come.  He must carry His own cross after being beaten, scourged and crowned with thorns.  Jesus makes all things new with His laying down of His own life and it is hard.

Jesus dies on a Friday, the worst atrocity of all time, yet we call it Good Friday.  It is good what He has done for us, our salvation is purchased through His life, death and resurrection.  “Oh God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life;” Jesus knows what He is doing is good.

He suffers but He doesn’t smile through it all.  Jesus makes everything new, re-writes the covenant with man and purifies us with His most precious Blood.  “(B)ut one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” John 19:34 He purifies the world.  Jesus does all of this suffering for us and it’s the best thing ever, yet it is still hard.

In life, we too, must endure.  We must get up and go to work so that our children can be fed.  We must pull our children to Church, even when they are acting up and sleeping in is easier, because we must do the right thing.

Sometimes, God teaches us lessons in the most painful ways.  St Pio, bearing the marks of the stigmata, was wrongly accused of being inauthentic and was not permitted, for a time, to celebrate mass publicly or to hear confessions.  He did not complain, but endured this pain so he could be a standard bearer for how to suffer the difficulties of life by you and I.  St Pio must suffer so we can learn from his enduring strength.

St Maximilian Kolbe went to his death in place of another man that was a father and husband so that you and I can appreciate the importance of loving our God, even if it means our death.  St Kolbe loves another child of God and lays down his life in place of another.  The martyr a special person in history loves his God so much that he or she is willing to go into the depths of misery, even death for His sake.  A man doesn’t lay his life down for Zeus or for his dog but when he does so for God, we are made better for it.  “The blood of the martyr is the seed of the church.” Tertullian

Things in life that are good, true and righteous are not always easy.  To not do them is worse.  If Jesus doesn’t die on the cross, we’re not saved.  It doesn’t mean Jesus should be gleeful while having His hands nailed to the cross.

When God is teaching you a painful lesson or when you must suffer for those that you love, its ok to cry out.  It’s ok to hunger and thirst.  It’s ok to shed tears.  A mother woken at night to care for her newborn doesn’t have to skip with a smile into her daughter’s room – but she must go to her child for love.

Endure my friends for Christ and His ways.  It won’t always be rocky but when it is, know to turn and run is worse.  Salvation has been paid for and there are many rooms in the Father’s house.

God Bless!