The truest hallmark of Marian devotion is a greater and growing love for and faith in Jesus Christ. The wedding feast at Cana surely demonstrates this truth quite remarkably. While there are debates as to the interaction of Jesus and Mary at Cana (see my previous post and also the comments) there can be little doubt that Mary provokes Jesus first miracle and in so doing helps his disciples to begin believing in him.
It is Epiphany all over again. At the first Epiphany Mary held Jesus for the nations (represented in the Magi) to see. In this Epiphany Jesus’ glory is manifested by a miracle encouraged by Mary.
Here then is Mary’s role: to point to her Son’s glory and draw us to greater faith in him. Like a mother she nurtures our faith and points to His glory. It is likely going too far to say that the faith of these early disciples depended on Mary’s drawing forth this first miracle, but Scripture does seem to show us a relationship between Mary and the manifestation of Christ as Lord. Her intercession calling forthe the miracle spurs faith though only God can cause it. The Lord sees fit that she should help summon the faith of the first disciples. And since Scripture models for us not mere historical events of the past but makes them present and includes us, it makes sense that we should accept this model and allow her to continue as an instrument of God to quicken our faith in Christ her Son. True and authentic Marian devotion will always have greater Faith in Jesus as its ultimate end.
Her instruction to the steward and to us “Do whatever he tells you” also shows this dimension for to follow such an instruction requires faith in Jesus. These are the last words we hear from Mary in the Scripture. I suppose, as a priest, if I could choose the final words I would ever say from a pulpit it would be: “Do whatever he tells you.”
The venerable and old phrase “To Jesus through Mary” is not a denial that we can go straight to Jesus ourselves. Rather, it is an acknowledgment that God himself willed that Mary be instrumental in Christ coming to us and in us being able to see him for who he really is. God himself establishes a pattern. He came to this world through her, was held in her arms for us first to see, and worked his first miracle at her behest. Through her we see Jesus and, as the text today says, we begin to believe in him.
The following video by Dr. Mark Miravalle gives another interpretation of Cana, a bit different from what I presented in the previous post but somewhat related to this post. I will say I have cautious concerns about the concept of “co-redemptrix” that he presents. I think there is an orthodox understanding of the concept and have no doubt that theologians and Popes have used the term. But since it can be so easily misunderstood, I am cautious about discussing and using it. Frankly in this video I think Dr. Miravalle takes what I said in my post here a little farther than I am willing to go. But, as always, the point here is discussion. So I welcome your comments.