Jesus & Mary at Cana-in-Galilee

Jesus turns water into wine at the behest of His Blessed Mother Mary.

Jesus turns water into wine at the behest of His Blessed Mother Mary.

Today we are going to take a look at the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary.  Although there are many Christians who have interpreted the the Gospel of John 2:1-11 in a manner that depicts Jesus looking down upon His mother Mary.  Perhaps there is another interpretation that may fall more in context with the rest of the Bible.  Here is an excerpt from The Life of Christ as written by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen:
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“When the wine gave out at Cana, it is interesting to note that Mary was more concerned with the guests than was the wine-steward; for it was she, and not he, who noticed their need of wine.  Mary turned to her Divine Son in a perfect spirit of prayer. Completely confident in Him and trusting in His mercy, she said:

They have no wine left. – John 2:3

It was not a personal request; she was already a mediatrix for all who were seeking the fullness of joy. She’s never been just a spectators, but a full participant willingly involving herself in the needs of others.  The mother used the special power which she had as a mother over her Son, a power generated by mutual love. He answered her with apparent hesitation:

Your concern, mother, is not mine. My hour has not yet come – John 2:4

First, consider the words, “What is that to Me and to thee?” This is a Hebrew phrase which is difficult to translate into English. St. John rendered it very literally into Greek, and the Vulgate preserved this literalism in Quid mihi et tibi, which means, “What to Me and to thee?” The word “that” is not represented in the original phrase; it has been added in the English translation to make the idea more understandable. Knox translates it freely, “Why dost thou trouble Me with that?”
 
In order to understand His meaning more fully, consider the words, “My hour is not yet come.” The “Hour” obviously refers to His Cross. Whenever the word “Hour” is used in the New Testament, it is used in relation to His passion, death, and glory. References to this “Hour” are made seven times in John alone, some of which are noted here.
 
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him because his appointed hour had not yet come. John 7:30
 
These words were spoken by Jesus in the treasury as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8:20
 
Then Jesus replied: The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:23
 
Now my soul is in turmoil, and what am I to say? Father, save me from this hour. No, it was for this that I came to this hour. John 12:27
 
Look, the hour is coming, has indeed already come, when you are all to be scattered, each to his home, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. John 16:32
 
After these words Jesus looked up to heaven and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify thy Son, that the Son may glorify thee. John 17:1
 
The “Hour,” therefore, referred to His glorification through His Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. At Cana, Our Lord was referring to Calvary and saying that the time appointed for beginning the task of Redemption was not yet at hand. His mother was asking for a miracle; He was implying that a miracle worked as a sign of His Divinity would be the beginning of His Death. The moment He showed Himself before men as the Son of God, He would draw down upon Himself their hatred, for evil can tolerate mediocrity, but not supreme goodness. The miracle she was asking for would be unmistakably related to His Redemption.
 
There were, in His life, two occasions when His human nature seemed to show and unwilling ness to take on His burden of suffering. In the Garden, He asked His Father if it be possible to take away His chalice of woe. But he immediately afterward acquiesced in His Father’s will: “Not My will, but Thine be done.” The same apparent reluctance was also manifested in the face of the will of His mother.  Cana was a rehearsal for Golgotha. He was not questioning the wisdom of beginning His Public Life and going to death at this particular point in time; it was rather a question of submitting His reluctant human nature to obedience to the Cross. There is a striking parallel between His Father’s biding Him to His public death and his mother’s bidding Him to His public life. Obedience triumphed in both cases; at Cana, the water was changed into wine: at Calvary, the wine was changed into blood.
 
He was telling His mother that she was virtually pronouncing a sentence of death over Him.  Few are the mothers who send their sons to battlefields; but here was one who was actually hastening the hour of her Son’s mortal conflict with the forces of evil. If He agreed to her request, he would be beginning His hour of death and glorification. To the Cross he would go with double commission, one from His Father in heaven, the other from his mother on earth.
 
As soon as He had consented to begin His “Hour,” He proceeded immediately to tell her that her relations with Him would be henceforth changed. Until then, during His hidden life, she had been known as the mother of Jesus. but now that he was launched on the work of Redemption, she would no longer be just His mother, but also the mother of all His human brethren whom He would redeem.  To indicated this new relationship, He now addressed her, not as “mother” but as the “Universal Mother” or “Woman.” What a ring to those words had to people who lived in the light of the Old Testament. When Adam fell, God spoke to Satan and foretold that He would put enmity between his seed and “the Woman,” for goodness would have a progeny as well as evil (Genesis 3:15). The world would have not only the City of Man which Satan Claimed as his own (Luke 4:5-7), but also the City of God. The “Woman” did have a seed, and it was her Seed that was standing now at the marriage feast, the Seed that would fall to the ground and die and then spring forth unto new life.
 
The moment the “Hour” began, she became “the Woman”; she would have other children too, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.  If He was to be the new Adam, the founder of a redeemed humanity, she would be the new Eve and the mother of that new humanity. As Our Lord was a man, she was His mother; and as He was a Savior, she was also the mother of all whome He would save. John, who was present at that wedding, was also present at the climax of the “Hour” on Calvary. He heard Our Lord calling her “Woman” from the Cross and then saying to her, “Behold thy son.” (John 19:26) It was as if he, John, was now the symbol of her new family. When Our Lord raised the son of the widow of Naim from the dead, He said, “Give him back to his mother.” On the Cross, He consoled His mother by giving her another son, John, and with him the whole of redeemed humanity.
 
At the resurrection he gave Himself back to her, to show that while she had gained new children, she had not lost Him. At Cana the prophecy that Simeon had made to her in the temple was confirmed: henceforth, whatever involved her Son would involve her, too; whatever happened to Him would happen to her (Luke 2:34-35). If He was destined to go to the Cross, so was she; and if He was now beginning His Public Life, then she would begin a new life too, no longer as just the mother of Jesus, but as the mother of all whom Jesus the Savior would redeem. he called Himself “Son of Man,” a title embracing all humanity; she would be henceforth the “Mother of Men.” Just as she was at His side as He began His Hour, so would she be at His side at its climactic finish. When she took Him away from the temple as a boy of twelve, it was because she sensed that His Hour had not yet come; He obeyed her then and returned to Nazareth with her. Now, He told her that His Hour had not yet come, but she bade Him to being it, and He obeyed. At Cana, she gave Him as a Savior to sinners; on the Cross He gave her as a refuge to sinners.
 
When He suggested that His first miracle would lead unerringly to His Cross and death, and that she would become henceforth a Mother of Sorrows, she turned at once to the winesteward and said:
Do whatever he tells you. John 2:5
What a magnificent valedictory! She never speaks again in Scripture. Seven times she had spoken in the Scriptures, but now that Christ had shown Himself, like the sun in the full brilliance of His Divinity, Our Lady was willingly overshadowed like the moon, as John later on Described her. (Revelation 12:1)
 
The six waterpots were filled, making about one hundred and twenty gallons, and in the beautiful language of Richard Crashaw, “the conscious water saw its God and blushed.” The first miracle was something like creation itself; it was done by the power of “the Word.” The wine He created was so good that the bridegroom was reproached by the steward with the words:
Everyone serves the best wine first, and waits until the guests have drunk freely before serving the poorer sort; but you have kept the best wine till now. John 2:10
 Truly the best wine was kept. Up until then in the unfolding revelation, the poor wine had been the prophets, judges, and kings, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Josue–all were like the water awaiting the miracle of the Expected of the Nations. The world generally gives its best pleasures first; afterward come the dregs and the bitterness. But Christ reversed the order and gave us the feast after the fast, the Resurrection after the Crucifixion, the joy of Easter Sunday after the sorrow of Good Friday.
This deed at Cana-in-Galilee is the first of the signs by which Jesus revealed his glory and led his disciples to believe in him. John 2:11
 The Cross is everywhere. When a man stretches out his arms in relaxation, he unconsciously forms the images of the reason for the Son of Man’s coming. So too at Cana, the shadow of the Cross was thrown across a “Woman,” and the first stroke of the “hour” was sounded like a bell of execution. In all the other incidents of His life, the Cross came first, then the joy. But at Cana, it was the joy of the nuptials that came first–the nuptials of the Bridegroom and the Bride of redeemed humanity; only after that are we reminded that the Cross is the condition of the ecstasy.
 
Thus He did at a marriage feast what He would not do in a desert; He worked in full grace of men what He had refused to do before Satan. Satan asked Him to turn stones into bread in order that His might become an economic Messiah; His mother asked Him to change water into wine that He might become a Savior. Satan tempted Him from death; Mary “tempted Him to death and Resurrection. Satan tried to lead Him from the Cross; Mary sent Him toward it. Later on, He would take hold of the bread that Satan said men needed, and the wine that His mother had said the wedding guests needed, and He would change them both into the memorial of His Passion and His death. then he would ask that men renew that memorial, even ‘unto the consummation of the world.” The antiphon of His life continues to ring: Everyone else came into the world to live; He came into the world to die.”
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