Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts1,12-14; Resp. Psalm: Luke1, 46-55; Gospel: Jn2,1-11
In moments of distress, sorrow, anguish and disappointment, each of us needs someone to lean on to comfort us and show to us that there are still better days ahead of us. In moments of shame and failure, we need a helping hand to lift us up to pick up the pieces of what life has in stock. In moments when all our plans seem to flounder and we appear to be bereft of new ideas, we need a guiding hand to lead us out of the labyrinth of confusion and hopelessness.
The wedding couple at Cana in Galilee must have experienced real fright when their wedding plans were going to flounder because of lack of wine. They must have planned and made back up. They probably did not envisage the crowd that eventually came. They also could have done all that was within their means. But what we know from today's gospel is that shame was staring them hard in the face.
This was where our Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother Mary came in. Our Blessed Mother was the one who was told about the unfortunate situation. In her maternal heart, she knew this was going to be a disaster that would be told in years to come because weddings were occasions to celebrate joy and the goodness of Yahweh on a family. This day of joy was turning into a day of shame.
She intervened. Our Blessed Mother believed in her Son and His ability to change the course the wedding program was heading. She knew that all she had to do was ask Him; that He would do the needful. She went to Him and told Him, "they have no wine." Even though our Lord asked her what that had got to do with both of them and that His hour had not yet come, she believed in His compassion. On this account, she told the servants to do whatever our Lord told them.
The servants did exactly as they were told, filled the stone jars with water, drew the water out as directed by our Lord and took it to the steward of the wedding feast who on tasting the water now made wine, exclaimed: "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now."
The power of our Lady's maternal intercession. The power of her love for the sorrowing. The power of her maternal observation that things should not go wrong and that shame should not be the lot of her children. Such is the power of the intercession of the Mother of God. Such is the power of her example of life. Such is the model she gives to us that with God, nothing is impossible. Such is her faith in the power of her Son to make a difference in situations where human plans meet with failure.
As we celebrate the feast of our Lady Mother of Africa, we remember the virtues of this Virgin of Nazareth. We remember her generous gift of self to God for the plan of salvation. We recall her sacrifices, pains and sufferings at the side of her divine Son. We emulate her as the Virgin who listens, offers, keeps vigil awaiting the Resurrection. We remember her as the Virgin who intercedes. We ask her intercession for our great continent for justice, peace and progress to reign supreme.
Let us pray: "Lord, as we honour the glorious memory of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Africa, we ask that by the help of her prayers we too may come to share the fullness of your grace and live in harmony and peace as one family." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.