Monday, July 28, 2014

“Do What He Tells You to Do”!

“Do What He Tells You to Do”!

Detail from “The Wedding at Cana” by Veronese

Julia and I and a couple of the boys were driving down to the Christmas Party at Tony & Denise’s this year.  It was pretty lively all the way, but, despite the noise, throughout the drive, this song just kept coming into my head: a ‘bluesy rocker’, perfect for Living Waters, and with a strong message. (And, of course, it fit in perfectly with my faith journey at the time.) I showed Dave the song when I got there.  It was so catchy and yet so meaningful!  I used the chorus in my class when we prayed that Mystery, and the kids just loved it so much.  When I first showed the song to the group, Tony very astutely observed, “Hey, that’s the second Luminous Mystery!”…yeah, that’s right!

When the Mellos asked us to do a concert this summer, I thought this would be PERfect! We learned this song, and “Save Me from Myself” by Mike, as brand new band songs for the concert.  We learned it very quickly, and it came out beautifully live.  It really is a great Living Waters ‘band’ song! Jim recorded part of the concert version; it is posted on YouTube here:  Do What He Tells You to Do VIDEO

It became clear that we needed a studio version of this. Josh and I got together on Tuesday, June 22, 2014, and spent most of the day working – it was ‘flowing so easily’ as it says in “Love’s in a Name”.  It was so great! It only seemed like a few minutes. Mike was there in the morning as support. I was so glad to see him. We actually got most of it done on that day! Greg & Josh tweaked and added some more and? Voila! I think this really does the original vision of the song justice.  [We put out a first mix and will probably add some more in coming weeks.]

One group history story: You may notice I yell “Change!” a couple of times in this song. I do that on purpose. Back in the 70’s & 80’s, when we were doing so many shows, we used to wear these awesome costumes, like the dashikis and the blue ruffled shirts. Well, when it was time to change for the show, I used to yell, “CHANGE!” and then I would freeze into a distorted body tableau…and then another – “CHANGE!”! (Tony especially enjoyed these performances!) It was a visual pun! (Love those!) And then we would change into our clothes. This song is all about the Lord changing our hopelessness – I just had to take this opportunity to yell “Change!”….

The message is a crucial one for right now, I think. The 'beloved disciple' represents US throughout his Gospel, and that is true of this story. The Miracle at Cana was the first of Jesus’ signs and the one which first caused the Apostles to believe; and, He, Himself, is the orchestrator of the Church’s mission of love.  If we do what He says, there will be REAL change that people will see for themselves; they will be able to choose the Kingdom for themselves.  And, there IS such a thing as a “household of faith” and a “communion of saints” (a phrase from the Apostles in the earliest creed), and this truth is modelled for us right from the start in this incident.  The Apostles are brought together with Mary and Jesus by a common, living faith in the Eternal Power of Christ.  It seems Mary knew this instinctively (that happens when you’re full of grace, I guess), and that’s why she said what she did.

Further, like John 6, John 2 is very Eucharistic.  In the early catacombs, the most popular triptych of murals, seen in many places, had the Last Supper in the center flanked by the Miracle of the Loaves, and the Miracle at Cana.  This imagery was preaching the Presence of the Risen Christ when we “DO THIS” in memory of Him. When we ‘do what He tells us to do’ in this case, a miracle happens & the Risen Christ is there!  If He can change water into wine, can He not change the wine into Himself to commune with us? If He can multiply regular bread to feed so many, can He not multiply His own Body to all times and places to feed us all spiritually as we need our “daily Bread”? 

One more interesting fact is about the very unique word for “woman” from Gen 3:15, a verse sometimes called the Protoevangelion or “first Gospel”:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.  She will crush your head, and you will lie in wait for her heel. (DRV)
This very singular word is used here in John 2 when Jesus says, “Woman, my hour has not come” AND from the cross in John 19, when he says, “Woman, behold your son”.  The “hour” when Jesus, “the seed”, and “the woman” crushed the serpent’s head was precisely on the cross! By performing his first miracle, Jesus was consenting to begin this journey to the cross! Jesus uses this special word to definitively link the Protoevangelion prophecy with the beginning and end of his mission. Of course, St. John is the perfect person to make this connection!

Well, that’s enough theologizing for one post! Bottom line? You really ought to follow Mary’s excellent advice for real in your life! “Do what He tells you to do”.  And then? Watch what happens!!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!