Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with His disciples. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Good morning Prayer Team!
The Virgin Mary is known as our fervent intercessor before her Son and our Lord. To intercede means to do something in place of someone else. This morning’s verses come from the story of the wedding at Cana, where Jesus and His disciples, as well as His mother, were in attendance. There was a need for more wine. Mary went to Jesus, on behalf of the wedding guests, perhaps on behalf of the family hosting the wedding, and told Him, “They have no wine.” She didn’t tell Him what to do. She didn’t say “They have no wine, make some more.” She took the need to the Lord and let Him decide how to best fill the need. His answer sounds like a rebuke, particularly the term “woman”. In Greek, the word ghnai is actually a term of endearment and respect. While not an exact answer to her request, the Virgin Mary put her trust in Jesus and told the servants “Do whatever it is He is going to tell you.”
From this brief passage we learn a few things:
The Virgin Mary is our intercessor. She knows her Son more than we do. She is closer to Him than we are. So, we may use her as an intercessor on our behalf. We do not pray to her, but rather through her. Just as it was Jesus who ultimately provided the additional wine, it is Jesus who ultimately answers our prayers. But rather than pray alone, we use intercessors in addition to ourselves. Our intercessors include the Virgin Mary, the saints and ONE ANOTHER. That’s one reason we belong to a church community, to have people who will join us in our prayers.
When bringing a request to the Lord, we don’t necessarily name the solution. We bring the request. He provides the answer; in His way. It is sufficient to say “There is no wine,” or “I need help” or “save me” and leave it to the Lord how that request will be filled. This is called trust, this is what faith is.
The answer to our prayers is not necessarily immediate. The request of the Virgin Mary was not answered immediately. She essentially told the servants, “I’m not sure what the answer is that He is going to provide but be prepared to do whatever He tells you. Trust Him.” Likewise, we have to be ready for whatever solution He provides. For instance, the prayer that says “I need a child” may result in one child, or five children, or the opportunity to adopt a child. Once we make the request, we have to be ready to do “whatever He tells us.”
Lord, thank You for the many times You have answered my prayers. You know all my needs before I even ask them of You. Help me to trust in You, and make me ready to follow Your plan. Lord, please remember (insert list names and needs of people you wish to pray for.) I humbly ask Your blessings, as well as the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and of all of Your saints. Amen.
Have a great day!