One reason for this is that John does not mention any names of those people who participate in the miracles in the book of John. The miracle the mother of Jesus will witness is the turning of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. There it takes the love and encouragement of his mother for Jesus to begin to act. Perhaps John wanted to make sure we were aware of the role Jesus’ mother played here and trusted that someone else would remember to speak her name.
My mother’s name was Georgette. Of course I just called her mom; everyone else called her Georgie. Recently I was exploring my family history. I knew that my mother’s father was named Otto George… but I had no idea the number of other George’s on the Blume/Best side of my family. When you put that together, I suppose it was inevitable that my mom who was the first child of her parents would somehow have the name George whether she was a boy or a girl.
My middle name is George. As Daniel George Bryan, a second son, I was told that I was named after my two grandfathers: Dan Bryan and, the aforementioned Otto George Blume. I’ve never really considered that I might in part also be named after my mother. Although as I’m writing this I can remember my mom calling out to me “Daniel George!…” with more of an emphasis and a familiarity than Kevin James or even David Gene.
I carry many traits good and not so good of my mother: her nervous energy, her need to be a peacemaker, her frustration when life doesn’t work out. I’d like to think that I have some of whatever we call the kind of determination she possessed. Most of her adult life was spent with raising five boys with my father disabled. She had no skills adaptable for the working world. My mom didn’t even have a driver’s license. Somehow though, Georgie Bryan carved out a life that is worth remembering on Sunday, especially by her namesake.
The names of all the women who have mothered us are important to remember because whether or not our names are similar, we are deeply and forever connected to them. That is of course saying the obvious; however, once in a while it’s good to hear the words out loud. And so sometime this Sunday, I invite you to say the name of your mother out loud… if you can in her presence or over the phone. And if you are like me and you rely on that which connects us through the miracle of faith, say that name out loud in a space and time that honors her presence.
In either case after you speak her name, do not be afraid to listen for that part of you that is encouraged and loved.
Keep the Faith,