Catholics believe in venial and mortal sin. Where does this notion come from? Was it something that the Church just made up? I mean, isn’t sin, sin? It actually comes right from the pages of Scripture, in 1 John 5. Read today’s first reading and you’ll see what I mean.
Jesus’ first public miracle, as told in John’s Gospel, is changing water into wine. It happens at a wedding feast at Cana. This story is the Gospel reading in today’s Mass from John 3. The wedding party runs out of wine. Jesus’ mother, Mary, is concerned. In the few words that we hear Mary utter in this passage, I think we can get a glimpse of her heart. She was concerned for the couple, for the family, for all those who were celebrating this joyous event. Her words to the servers are ones that resound in my heart, as they should in all hearts. “Do whatever He tells you.”
These words take it as a given that we are listening to Jesus. How, after all, can we do what He tells us if we do not hear Him telling us? Consider the source of the words. Mary knew that Jesus would only speak the truth. That He would only speak words that would carry out God’s plan in the lives of His hearers. After all, she was the first to say yes to Jesus. Do whatever He tells you. Good advice on that day in Cana. Good advice today.
Father, help us to hear the voice of Jesus, and to follow the advice of Mary to do whatever He tells us. Amen.