Mommy Dearest


“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
—John 2:4-5

For anybody else, disobeying God results in all kinds of unpleasant things. Adam and Eve get kicked out of Eden. Jonah gets swallowed by a big fish. Lot’s wife gets turned into a salt lick. The list goes on and on. Nobody crosses God and gets away with it.

Except Mother Mary. Does it matter to her that her kid is the Son of God? Does it matter to her that her boy is the savior of the world? Does it matter to her that her baby Jesus is the creator and supreme ruler of the universe? Nope. Doesn’t mean diddly when you’re out of booze.

So Jesus is at a wedding, having a good time for a change. He’s off-duty and simply enjoying a nice party. For a few moments, at least, he is not in the miracle and salvation business. For a few precious moments, Jesus is just one of the crowd. He knows he’ll have to go back to work, but for now he’s off the clock and just hanging with the boys.

Enter Mom. The idiot hosts didn’t order enough wine. She thinks her boy should do something about it. Jesus is not happy. You can hear the exasperation in his voice. He rolls his eyes. “Mom,” he groans. “Give me a break, for crying out loud. It’s not my problem. Let them run to the 7-11 and pick up a few six-packs. They’re all half drunk anyway. Can you just leave me out of it for a change?”

His mom doesn’t even hear him. She turns to the waiters and, with a dismissive wave of her hand, she tells them that her son—her good, loyal, Jewish boy, the one who kicked like the dickens in her womb while she rode bum-struck on the donkey, the one who was all snug inside her belly while she lay panting in a barn, her nice little boy whom she cared for and fed and clothed and suffered for all these thirty years, making such sacrifices for him—she tells the waiters that he’ll take care of everything. Then she goes back to her schmoozing.

Jesus stands there. His mom has done it to him again. His buddies stare at him. Judas has an amused smirk on his face. (Jesus hates that smirk.) The waiters are waiting, which is what waiters do. The party music sounds like a tin pan band. Here he is, the Anointed One, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the freaking judge of the quick and the dead—and he’s neck deep in motherly shove. He mutters his own name under his breath and briefly considers a small earthquake. But Jesus is no fool; he knows when he’s been had. If he asserts his divine autonomy, he ends up looking like an ungrateful schmo. There is no way out of this one. His mom wins—again. He sighs deeply. “Fill the damn jars with water.”

Back at the party, everyone is happy and quite tipsy. Mary looks over the raucous crowd as she daintily sips the newly vinted wine. She spies Jesus sulking in a corner. “Such a good boy,” she thinks to herself.

Jesus looks back at her. His mom is literally glowing with pride. He makes a mental note: She who has my commands and ignores them—she is the one who loves me.



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