Given at Mt. St. Mary
Seminary of the West
Picture a child about to try
A stunt fraught with danger. He turns to his panicked mother, saying “Don’t worry, Mom, I won’t get hurt.”
And Mother replies, “Famous last words!”
Often record “famous last words”
Some witty, many profound.
A certain “ultimacy” surrounds a person’s dying words--
After all, they can never be edited, taken back or nuanced.
The famous and in some ways infamous British writer,
Oscar Wilde, lay dying in the luxurious George V Hotel in Paris
And supposedly quipped, “I’m dying beyond my means.”
On a more serious note the founder of the Christian Brothers,
St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle looking back on his journey of faith,
A journey that took him from wealth to poverty, from prestige to persecution,
Wanted to impress upon the Brothers the spiritual core of that journey,
This spiritual core being
The faith that the Loving Father guided him at every turn in the road.
He witnesses to this core of La Sallian Spirituality
Absolute trust in Divine Providence.
“I adore in all things the will of God in my regard.”
Follows a famous bit of dialogue in John’s Gospel.
Mary--perhaps responding to panicked pleas from the host and hostess--old friends no doubt,--approaches her son and merely speaks the need,
Gently, perhaps quietly, so as to avoid embarrassing her friends.
“They have no wine.”
Her confidence in the compassion of her son moves her.
Even his reply with its mysterious reference
To his Hour not yet come does not phase her –
She knows her son.
Pretend you are filming
this scene at Cana.
Must have had its moments!
But more importantly are her final words:
“Do whatever He tells you.”
What follows reveals the infinite bounty of God’s compassion,
The bounty Isaiah sings with full voice:
This celebration promises more than any mundane dreams can muster.
This evening we gather confident that
Mary still brings human needs to her beloved Son,
Trusting in His heart that first beat beneath her breasts.
She still brings our needs to her Son.
We hear, “They have no wine.”
Then she whispers in the midst of our prayers