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When I was a student in Catholic grade school (Holy Cross in Euclid, now Our Lady of the Lake…but still Holy Cross to me!), I remember Sister telling us to pray by saying Thank You first, as if God had already heard our prayer before we asked. “Pray with confidence and faith,” she’d tell us, “because God always answers our prayers when we have faith.”
This Sunday’s Gospel of the wedding feast at Cana offers an example of that sort of prayer. Mary asks—rather tells Jesus that “they have no wine.” The response of Jesus almost sounds like a brush-off: That’s not my problem, and besides, “My hour has not yet come.” Mary doesn’t stop there, however. “Do whatever he tells you,” she says to the servers, and Jesus proceeds to change the water into wine—not just more wine, but better wine!
Yes, God answers prayer, and sometimes the answer is No. But it’s No because God has something better for us. Have faith, give thanks, and pray as if you’ve already received the answer. That is what Mary did at Cana.