In this weekend’s Gospel reading, we hear the story of Jesus changing water into wine. This is probably one of the most wellknown miracle stories, even for those who aren’t Christian. While this story has many underlying themes, I think that it can teach us much about prayer and divine intervention.
Let’s start with Mary. The story doesn’t tell us how Mary knew that the wine had run out. The bride and groom would not have made this known to all the guests because it would have brought great embarrassment and dishonor to them. Wine was an essential part of celebrating any joyful occasion. Yet, this was made known to Mary. As a compassionate mother, she was compelled to do something to help them. While she couldn’t help directly by providing new wine, her response was to turn to Jesus for help. Mary, however, doesn’t request anything from Jesus, she simply brings the matter to His attention. She doesn’t tell him what to do. Jesus can hear the worry in her voice and can see in her heart that she is placing a prayer of petition before Him. No words are necessary to express how deeply her heart is burdened by the problem. When Jesus questions her, she doesn’t argue, get mad or upset. She doesn’t negotiate with Him or believe that she is entitled to any special favors. She has absolute trust and faith in Jesus. Bringing the concern to Jesus, she allows Jesus to deal with it in His own way and her reply is truly an expression of pure and unwavering faith, “Do whatever he tells you.”
For most people, praying to God is usually a prayer of petition asking God to do something for us. In this prayer, we pray for our personal needs and the needs of others. For some, they’ve already thought it through and worked out the details. All God needs to do is make it happen according to their wellcrafted plan. Their prayers are very specific in how God should act  how and when it should be done.
In today’s Gospel story, Mary teaches us that God hears the prayers of our hearts. She shows us that she is always ready to intercede on our behalf and bring our prayers of petition before God. It is foolish to think that our own solutions to our problems could ever be better than God’s. All we need to do, is invite Mary and Jesus into our lives and to have absolute faith in God, believing fully that He knows all our needs and the best and surest way to help us.
Deacon Bob Laquerre