In the movie Back To The Future Part II, the main character, Marty McFly, travels 30 years into the future with scientist, Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown. The movie starts with Doc returning from the year 2015 to 1985 and notifying Marty (who at that time is 17 years old and in high school) that they have to go “back to the future” to help Marty’s (future) son.
Since Doc has already seen what happens in the future, he is able to program his time machine to arrive in the year 2015 before Marty’s son is recruited by some bullies to participate in a crime. Once they arrive, Marty and Doc are able to carry out their plan to keep Marty’s future son from committing the crime.
Can you imagine having that kind of power? The power to know what is going to happen in the future, climb into a time machine, and then travel into the future to do whatever is necessary to avoid a catastrophic event?
Last week I wrote about the importance of having a mentor. I pointed out that one of the advantages of working with a mentor is that he’s “been there, done that” and can use his real life experiences to guide you in the areas where you do not have any experience.
In some ways a mentor, who has already travelled down the road you’re currently travelling on, has a sense of what lies ahead in your future. He won’t be able to give you exact details of what’s going to happen, but in some situations, he can get pretty close to predicting (and preparing you for) the future. However, since he does not have specific knowledge of the future, he can only base his advice and guidance on his past experience, knowledge, and training.
Although there is no human on earth who can predict the future, we know of at least one angel who did, in fact, predict the future. The angel appeared to a young teenage girl by the name of Mary and told her exactly what was going to happen to her in the future. St. Luke explained how this happened in his gospel (Chapter 1: 26-38):
And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women…. Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shall conceive in thy womb, and shall bring forth a son; and thou shall call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How can this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy one which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God…. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Our Lord was not conceived in Mary’s womb until she gave her consent. At the moment she said “be it done to me according to thy word,” He was conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit. After that, all of the future events that the angel had predicted came true.
Do you think that if God was willing to reveal certain future events to an angel, He would be willing to reveal future events to the only woman who was ever conceived without sin – the woman who later became the spouse of the Holy Spirit and the mother of God the Son?
We know that the Blessed Mother has knowledge of future events because of certain predictions she made in her apparitions at Fatima in 1917. In addition to having knowledge of future events, she also has immense influence over the Son of God. St. John gave us a glimpse of her influence in his gospel (Chapter 2: 1-11):
And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus said to him: They have no wine. And Jesus said to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee, my hour is not yet come. His mother said to the waiters: Do whatever he tells you. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus said to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus said to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not where it came from, the chief steward called the bridegroom and said to him: Every man at first puts forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. The miracle at Cana of Galilee was the first of Jesus’ miracles; and he manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
How did Mary know that her Son was going to turn the water into wine? Despite the fact that He told her that His hour had not yet come, she knew He would do whatever she asked of Him. God never changes. He still does whatever she asks of Him.
The Catholic Church has taught us that prior to Jesus dying on the cross, He made Mary the mother of all mankind. “When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he said to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her as his own.” John 19:27-27. The Church has interpreted this passage to mean that St. John was a representative of each and every one of us. When Jesus identified him as a son of Mary, Jesus also identified each one of us as her son or daughter.
There was a point during my first year in law school when I wanted to give up and quit. It was at that time that I promised Mary that if she helped me get through law school, I would never represent a client in a case in which I would have to take a position that was contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. She held up her end of the bargain. When I became a lawyer, I asked her to be my partner and mentor.
It’s been more than 28 years since we started working together. Even if I had an opportunity to climb into Doc Brown’s time machine, I would pass on it. I would much rather have the mother of God by my side guiding me in all of my future endeavors than a scientist with a time machine. She is the greatest of all (human) mentors.