How to Pray (for wine at a party)

The following is reprinted from my column in Catechist Magazine, with permission from Catechist.  It is a reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel reading.

 Sun., Jan. 17, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

John 2:1-11

The story of the miracle at the wedding at Cana continues the theme of revealing Jesus that began on the Epiphany and continued at Jesus’ baptism, where he was revealed as God’s beloved and anointed son. In this story, Jesus will be revealed to his disciples and others as one who works great signs.

This story from John’s Gospel also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the faith of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She impresses us with her concern for others, her attention to detail, and her unflinching faith. She is an example we can follow. In fact, she teaches us how to pray.

As we know, the hosts of the wedding celebration were running low on wine. Mary noticed this and wanted to help. So what did Mary do? She did not walk around wringing her hands and worrying. She did not grab her wallet and run to the market to “fix it” herself. Instead she immediately went to Jesus. 

We may be surprised or even amused by Jesus’ response. He doesn’t seem very interested. He even seems to rebuff Mary a bit. But what does Mary do? She doesn’t give up and assume he will not help. She does not lose faith in Jesus. Instead she trusts that he heard her and will respond. She tells the servants to be ready: “Do whatever he tells you.”

What is the result of Mary’s petition? Jesus responds with a miracle, of course. Jugs of water are turned into lots and lots of wine—really good wine! 

Like Mary, we should also walk right up to Jesus and tell him about our needs and concerns. They don’t have to be big things. After all, this whole story is about wine at a party! If Jesus does not seem to respond right away, we can be assured that it is not because he isn’t interested or doesn’t care. We can be patient and hopeful and trust in him like Mary did. And just as he did at Cana, when he does respond, he will respond with power. He will do lots and lots of really good things in our lives. 

Reprinted with permission from Catechist Magazine.  For subscription information visit

"Do whatever he tells you."

"Do whatever he tells you."