By Carol Younger
Have you ever intervened? As school counselor and administrator, that was my job: to intervene with students, teachers, parents, even police, in any kind of conflict or emotionally-charged situation. My tasks included observing, listening, and offering options and help. Not necessarily just help from me, but help from others, any others who might help, even people above me in the system. Most people were happy to help. In some situations, all I could do was to ask God for His intervention. And the ultimate goal? Get everyone back on the track of learning and growing, leaving the conflict and hurtful emotions behind. Oftentimes, after all was said and done, my intervention wasn’t even noticed, and others just went on about their business as usual. But I knew. And I thanked Jesus, the real Miracle Worker.
At the wedding at Cana, Mary played an important part in Jesus’ first sign. She intervened! The wine running short is a big upset for a Jewish wedding. So, first, she goes to Jesus to tell Him and ask for His intervention. She surrenders the situation to Him. Then, she makes sure others are ready to help with His intervention. She knows Jesus doesn’t need our help; but she knew also from the Annunciation on, He chooses to ask and use our human participation. So Mary tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” This is Mary’s great role as an intercessor; she intervenes with prayer to God and with encouragement to others. I think that’s why John doesn’t use Mary’s name. Anyone who knows Jesus can bring the problems, difficulties, sorrows of others to Him. The hard part is to surrender the problem to Him. Mary does that.
The result? The overflowing response of wine! Joy in the difficult situation, joy in asking, joy in helping to carry and fill the jars, joy in knowing of Jesus’ part in this miraculous exchange of water to wine. And the wedding couple? Helped toward a joyous covenant making and complimented on their choice of wine. Let’s imitate Mary. Look about you for people whose situations need our intervention. Intervene in situations where you are, with the people you know. First, tell Jesus about the loss or lack of wine and joy in the situation. Then, surrender everything to His care. Look about for others who can help you with prayer and with real physical help. Enlist their aid, encouraging them to help through Jesus’ name.
Then stand back and watch the miracle!
About the Author:
Carol R. Younger, Ed.D. is a former public school teacher, counselor and administrator, who teaches at the graduate level in counseling, psychology, and catechetics. Carol is a senior fellow for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and has served on the advisory board for The Great Adventure Bible Studies. She is the published author of the Retreat Companion for 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, and she is a contributing author for WINE: Women in the New Evangelization. Carol has presented at numerous conferences, led Cursillo ministry, and conducted pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Europe’s many Catholic shrines. She has three married children, seven grandchildren, and a great granddaughter.