“You’re not the boss of me!”

As a kid growing up (with two older sisters and one younger sister), I found myself often having to declare my own independence from my older sister who was regularly the de facto person in charge at home as both of my parents worked full time.  It was not uncommon for me to declare “You’re not the boss of me!”  In fact, she was, but I preferred to believe otherwise.  In more recent years I find myself saying those same words to my youngest sister whom, whenever we are together, takes over as the de facto person in charge.  Similarly, she is, but I prefer to believe otherwise! The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This Sunday’s Gospel story of the Wedding at Cana has another female boss giving orders to the men around her and Jesus’ response is somewhat similar to my own – “How does your concern affect me?” Mary’s response to the men standing around is profound and speaks to us all, men and women of every age:  “Do whatever he tells you!”  She knew, unlike some of us who give orders, it’s not about me.  Rather, let us focus on what are the ways in which we need to acknowledge that we are not our own boss, but rather, must follow the directions of one who can transform our lives.

This week is filled with three events that may seem unrelated, but challenge us to examine who is the real boss:  MLK Day; Week of Christian Unity; the March for Life.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. realized that the peaceful ways of Jesus were “The Way” to engage the hearts and minds of a society in need of reform.  All Christians can agree that it is Jesus to whom we are called to worship and follow. The scourges of abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, and other actions which fail to respect human dignity, all cry out for help from the one who suffered from bosses who failed to respect his life.

This week we are simply called to listen to Mary who knew well the power of her Son, and do whatever he tells us.  Allow Jesus to be the boss of our lives.  Regularly submit ourselves to the rule of the one who truly claims to have an easy yoke and a light burden.  May our lives in search of racial harmony, Christian Unity, and Human Dignity be open each and every day, in any and all ways, to proclaim to the mountain tops:  “You are the boss of me!”


Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
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