Mother and Child
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)

Antonio P. Pueyo
Reproduced with Permission

In the Philippines it is not surprising to see a mother nursing her infant in public. As a parish priest I have officiated at baptisms where there could be as many as thirty babies to be baptized. You can imagine the din that these crying babies create. To pacify the babies, some of the mothers have to breastfeed their babies right there while the ceremonies are proceeding. I have learned to take all these as normal.

Action Starter: What is He telling you to do? Do whatever He tells you

I once asked a mother how it felt to nurse her baby. She answered that she enjoyed feeding her baby, knowing that this made the bond between them stronger. Her baby would prefer to stay attached to her as long as she is allowed - even if the milk is no longer flowing. Such is the beauty of the bond between mother and child. Painters throughout the ages have tried depicting this relationship between Jesus and His mother Mary. I myself have three large framed images of the Madonna and Child.

The close bond between the mother and child remains even as the child grows to adulthood. I once stopped for a young man trying to hitch a ride on a mountain road. I allowed him to ride in the back of the pickup truck. The mother was fussing over him, reminding him to hold on tight, to wear his cap and sweater and not to fall off. She was afraid he might catch a cold. He was eighteen years old.

In the Gospel this Sunday we see Mary and Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana. Jesus manifested His power at the request of His mother.. even when He at first felt some hesitation, “ My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). On this occasion, Mary delivered her only sermon, “ Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5) She Knew her Son. She knew what He could do. She had confidence that He would do it.

There was a time when people from our town would course their request through my mother, for me to officiate at a wedding or a funeral mass. They knew I could not refuse her. I knew what it must have been for Jesus when Mary whispered, “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3) .

We are recovering from the effects of the recent Christmas holidays. In one parish where I’m saying mass, they have not yet taken down the stars and the Christmas crib. Perhaps they intend to extend Christmas until the feast of Sto. Nino next week.

Take out the decorations. Take out the lights. But let Jesus and Mary remain in our hearts. Let the image of mother and Child be a constant reminder for us of the possibility and reality of love and affection between God and humanity.