Mary is more relevant than ever. [Marshall McLuhan Monday]

"Wedding at Cana" baptistry in Padua, Italy (Giusto de Menabuoi, 1376 - 1378)
“Wedding at Cana” baptistry in Padua, Italy (Giusto de Menabuoi, 1376 – 1378)

In this Sunday’s gospel, Mary’s mind must have been a million places. Imagine her, like any woman at a party: eating her food, listening to the table conversation, watching the little children running around, surveying the food and beverages. Suddenly, she realizes — the wine’s all gone! Out of love for the bridal family, not wanting them to suffer embarrassment, she famously addresses her son: “They have no wine.”

You may recall a past MMM about ‘role-playing.’ Marshall McLuhan, in an interview with Fr. Patrick Peyton, said that women are profoundly good at role-playing…

A mother’s role is never – you can’t prescribe it. It’s totally unpredictable. She has to be many things at many times of the day. So role-playing, in that sense, is a world in which you have a vast repertoire of parts to perform simultaneously.

McLuhan understood what Theology of the Body teachers are now widely preaching: women’s bodies and brains are great at nurturing people, because we were made to expertly care for many things at once.

During his discussion with Fr. Peyton, McLuhan discussed his fondness for Mary under the title ‘Mother of Good Studies.’ “She is not only a Mother of Good Studies,” he said, “but a mother of all the joy and all the excitement and satisfaction to be found in study and in understanding. Her own relation to these things was joyful, and her whole being is playful and joyful.”

He stopped to reflect on the busyness of our electronically-connected world, and then said:

Of all the times in the world when women might find their fulfillment through role-playing, this, […] would seem to be the time when Our Lady had the greatest relevance and the greatest role-playing power of all.

It’s no wonder. We see Our Blessed Mother appearing around the world, more in the electronic age than ever before. As a Spirit-filled woman, Mary sees so much happening, so many opportunities to once again save her children from lack of wine.

Author, columnist and speaker Marge Fenelon poignantly suggested at the 2012 Catholic Women’s Conference in San Antonio: When you find yourself in need, just say a short prayer: ‘Mary, I have no wine.’


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