Mary is one of the three persons we focus on during Advent. (The other two are John the Baptist and the prophet Isaiah.) As we wait with Mary during the coming weeks before Christmas, we might ponder how she, the first and best disciple, is a model for us. For example, Mary gives us five lessons on discipleship in one incident: the wedding at Cana. I heard these lessons in a priest’s talk when I was in Dubai and thought they were worth passing on.
First, a disciple notices when there is a need and acts. Mary is aware that the wine is running out. She is not too busy socializing or dancing to be oblivious of the impending disaster. Mary realizes that running out of wine will embarrass the newlyweds and their parents and turn the wedding feast into a bad memory for them. She acts to meet the need.
Second, a disciple goes to Jesus when there is a problem. Mary immediately turns to her son and presents the situation to him. She doesn’t go to the chief steward. Jesus has not worked a miracle yet, but Mary knows she can trust him to do something.
Third, a disciple perseveres. Although Jesus appears to rebuff Mary’s tacit request, Mary is undaunted. She goes to the stewards and tells them to do whatever Jesus says. (This is known as “Mary’s commandment”!)
Fourth, a disciple influences others. Mary’s faith in her son is so strong that it is contagious. The stewards have little reason to think that a carpenter from Nazareth would provide wine. Yet, because of Mary’s faith, they do as Jesus says.
Fifth, Mary is humble about her accomplishment. After Jesus provided the abundant and excellent wine, Mary could have bragged to others that she and her Son had saved the day. But she didn’t.
What other discipleship lessons does Mary teach us? Has she ever come to your rescue?