I will admit, yesterday while hearing the Epistle (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) and Gospel (John 2:1-11) reading my mind briefly wondered to a thought, inspired from watching Madam Secretary. If unfamiliar it is a television show that focuses on the professional and personal life of a female Secretary of State.
One of the things that she says after relenting to a decision that causes her moral or ethical struggle is, “we serve at the pleasure”. This of course, meaning they do what they have to do to follow through with presidential requests. The thing that jumped out at me as I sat there, was how we have different gifts and we serve at the pleasure of God. This eventhough we are outcasts in society, God has already given us different gifts. Tho remember that our potential of a life as a Christian began with an outcast of society, having the courage to say yes to God. So often we miss this in this scripture, maybe due to our human desires focusing on the good wine.
Mary was an outcast, still she was given the ability to teach Jesus the way. This subtle reminder that Mary, a woman, is even in his response to her. This he does time after time, of pointing out the outcast as already holding the mercy of a God within them. Still he knew she was right, when Mary let him know it was time for him to begin his service to God, even though during that time women did not have the same possibilities women in 2019 have (even if still limited).
Jesus as he does throughout the New Testament turns parables around, like the tax collector not hiding in a crowd, the hypocrites in the temple and so on. Jesus points out that the strength in knowing how to love our neighbor as ourself, is understood by an outcast. He points out the outcast, that even within our imperfections we have the opportunities at a new life of service. That as an outcast, we understand the damage that separation from our spiritual life can do to our society. Of creating a division whether physical or ethereal, separation denies the spiritual gifts we have been given by God.
These gifts do not come from people, these gifts are already given within us, as yesterday’s Psalm states, “For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see the light” (Psalm 36:9). Our opportunities are in being present to our spiritual path, knowing when and how to use those gifts to continue the flow of the Holy Spirit. As with anything, we first have to accept that we serve within the mercy of God.