How To Handle Conflicts Without Sinning

(John 2:1-11 ) Mary sees a need and wants Jesus to do something about it. She knows full well that only a miraculous intervention will solve the problem. She wants the divine in him to respond to her request, but the human nature of Jesus responds first: He doesn’t want to reveal his divinity with this kind of miracle. He’s eager to heal souls, not empty wine jars.

“Woman, how does your concern affect me?” he says. “My hour has not yet come.” This is like saying, “I respect your request, holy Daughter of Eve, but think about how a miracle in this situation would affect the ministry I’m about to start! People will come to me for party favors and other earthly pleasures, but I want to give them eternal salvation.”

We Catholics like to use this scripture as faith-building evidence of the Blessed Mother’s ability to help us. We see her in this story as a mother who can get for us whatever we want from Jesus, because she can make him change his mind. Jesus told her no, but the conflict was resolved her way. Mary won, Jesus lost.

Isn’t this how we view conflicts? It’s not resolved until someone’s a winner and someone else is a loser. Therefore, when we make requests of God and he doesn’t give us what we want, we feel like we’re the loser, so we pray harder, trying to make God become the loser. And when that doesn’t work, we ask the Blessed Mother to side with us and influence her Son against his will.

But God wants us to be the winner from the start! He always wants what’s best for us. Mary knew this when she told the wine stewards, “Do whatever my Son tells you.”

Conflicts are not inherently bad. Conflicts become sacred opportunities for wonderful solutions when we entrust them to God. Mary trusted that Jesus cared about the people at the party. Jesus trusted that the Father cared about both the people and his ministry. It was a win-win situation.

by Terry A. Modica

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