“Do whatever He tells you.”

—John 2:5

Mary’s quote from the Wedding Feast at Cana is one of my favorite Scripture passages. I often say that it is Mary’s second fiat, or perhaps her millionth fiat. Jesus had told her that his time had not yet come. It seems he was saying that performing this miracle would expose him in a new way. It would begin the walk to Calvary. It seems he was asking his mother if she were ready, as she would be beside him as he took the role of the one who would die to rectify the covenant between God and Israel. Mary shows her willingness, her faith, her yes by simply turning to the servants at Cana, telling them to do whatever Jesus said. Mary knows the story of salvation history, and she is saying yes to her Son saving the world. “Let’s go!”

Three years passed and Mary joined Jesus on the way to the Cross. The book Walk in Her Sandals from WINE: Women In the New Evangelization invites us to experience faith and our own encounter with Christ from Palm Sunday through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection, and to Pentecost, not only as a bystander but also as a participant.

As Sarah Christmyer writes, “The day we call Good Friday both begins and ends in darkness, in a garden.” The trees planted in the Garden of Gethsemane give way to the crosses planted on Calvary. The executions on the cross were intentionally public and horrifying as a warning of the strength of the Romans. Yet Mary steadfastly follows her Son.

“Did Mary know this then?” Christmyer asks. “Like Abraham, did she believe her promised Son could be raised again?” Ah—the duration and magnitude of her fiat—her mother’s heart is pierced but her focus is unwavering. 

The yes of a mother’s heart becomes the thread that unites us and places us in the story. In Walk in Her Sandals, Stephanie Landsem introduces us to Veronica, who we only know through Church tradition. At home with her family. Veronica leaves to help feed the poor in the city. A crowd assembles, the noise increases, and she realizes she is present in the midst of Jesus carrying the cross. When he fell, a woman cried in anguish. Veronica knew her “from the pain etched on the woman’s face—a pain so profound, it could only belong to Jesus’ mother, Mary of Nazareth.” The encounter with Mary transformed Veronica. She no longer saw a criminal but a woman’s son, loved by Mary in the same way that Veronica loved her own son. That encounter compelled her to go to Jesus and wipe his face, offering him the only comfort she could.

This mother’s story, both of Mary and Veronica, leads us to reflect on feminine sensitivity. Pat Gohn writes, “a woman’s sensitivity is not just about seeing or noticing what’s going on in another. Sensitivity’s true power is that it moves a woman to help.” Ah, yes—Gohn says our sensitivity pushes us to healing, nurturing, and suffering for others. Sensitivity is a strength, which breeds saints.

Walk in Her Sandals also includes personal reflections on the meaning of the events in Christ’s life as they appear today. Laura Sobiech tells us about the cross she carried with her son, Zach, who had a rare bone cancer. She understood that her whole faith life of small fiats was training for this enormous one. “‘Okay,’ was my simple answer. ‘I’ll trust You.’ And so we started down our Via Dolorosa, our Way of the Cross, with cancer.’” Her dreams for Zach’s life now turned to her dreams for his afterlife.

All of us have entered a number of Good Fridays in our lives. Walk in Her Sandals shows one of the surest ways to the Resurrection is through the fiat of a mother’s heart.