The Wedding at Cana: To Jesus through Mary

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.


9 Replies to “The Wedding at Cana: To Jesus through Mary”

  1. Thank you for posting this video! It is good to remember that the hour has to do with Calvary. Another point that Dr. Miravalle (an old prof. of mine) does not mention, is that Mary does not say the wine has run out, but that they have no wine. Wine represents the Holy Spirit. The Jews at the time had no wine becuase they olny had the law. When Jesus is married to mankind, an abundance of grace in poured out (180 gallons of wine). The Jews had the law, but they did not have the grace to live it (no wine). Jesus came so that through his passion, death and ressurection we would have an abundance of that grace. He came to enter into a marriage with men, through Mary. It is through Mary that this abundance of grace in poured out.

    Note the 1st reading at Mass today!

  2. Yes. I am almost glad sometimes that I have the ‘label’ that I have; but perhaps it’s sinful to feel that it’s protective if/when I am in error, for I certainly acknowledge the caution and concern that it is necessary to take with words and exegesis. The co-redemptrix is a concept that I don’t understand; but I believe that I agree with you Msgr on this point and not as in the video, if that’s what he’s saying. This blog is amazing! I am learning so much. That wine is associated with grace! It makes such perfect sense (to me!). But the New Age, I understand adopts some variant of a co-redemptrix perspective; everyone in that book I read becomes part of the ‘Sonship’. But does it solve the issue in any way to remember that (as I read in a philosophy book – excuse me I always, like Kierkegaarde can’t quote, but have to rely on memory) that we must remember that on these themes, the individual is in the race and the race is in the individual. Thus this co-redemptrix concept must take some account of this point that hopefully will make some progress in our attempt to resolve this issue: There can only be One Christ. He is the Individual as distinct from the Human Race. There can only be one Mary. (Does she indeed carrry the Word, as I remember that priest saying); but we as members of the human race, are members in Christ. (like that beautiful picture) and through the power of the Holy Spirit – Wine!!!! do our best to make that word heard and thus must continually increase our understanding. There was One Adam; One Eve. In our historical lives, women (Not woman, I note the difference) have a dual function, (I believe we differ in this regard from men who are seen in a more unifying presence). This is recognized secularly as the (Madonna/Magdalene I used in book as artistic liberty) good girl/bad girl complex. I treat this caustically in the novel’s first version, and am attempting to come to a more orthodox understanding of the religious figures, in order to upgrade the writing and bring the themes into a proper religious context. I say this, as just last week someone else commented on the duality, and spoke about the difficulty he was having with the Mother/Bride paradox. I don’t want to ramble as I usually do; I have talked on this before; but perhaps if we think ‘function’ rather than ‘person’ it will help to resolve the issue for any, who like me, have had, and still have some difficulty with the duality. I hope this is not off topic. I believe it is extended, but still related to the theme of the meaning of co-redemptrix, as Mary the Mother is in all of us who remain as sinners, (should this be Eve and not Saint Mary Magdalene), when we accept her role and model as the ‘carrier’ of the word, and bring her into our lives as Mediator? to Christ. Don’t know what kind of metaphor this is. I’m actually a little confused. Thanks for this blog Msgr. Thanks to you, I am back at daily mass, and your blogs are helping me become more ‘committed’. (Faith- not insanity – notice the pun, which was my irony again, but please, not intentional on my part, and hopefully like always you will take my meaning with your usual grace and forbearance. Please excuse. I’m a little exhausted. “We shall overcome”.

  3. No. I did it. I said: We are in the word, through the Mediation of Mary, Mother of Jesus. No. Confusion with The Holy Ghost and the Trinity. That’s the confusion, or like it with the New Age phenomenon. I am at least recognizing when I am confused. To simplify, the race/individual context may be a bit of a simplification. We seek to find unity within God. Within the Body of Christ. We are ‘many’ as part of ‘universal’ humanity, which means something different I understand from the Greek. Catholic, means also to be Whole – (Holy) to come to the Father, (and the Holy Ghost- he does not say) through Christ. I said, Mary was in us as a model when we accept her role and model as ‘carrier’ of the word. I think this is in error. There definitely seems to be dualities at work here. Maybe even a spiritualization of the philosophical mind/body duality, but I’m not about to go into this now. It would be too dangerous for me to do so. Thanks for your patience. Have to stop putting in comments – I’m getting a little ‘high’ actually. I think I’ve got to calm down, get some sleep and take my (only 5 mg. medication) before bed. This is not a cop-out; but even the attempt to see these issues clearly right now needs some calmness, information and ‘rationality’, and ‘proportion’. I just wanted you to know that I’m not so insane as to not know I’m becoming a little ‘insane’.

  4. A perfect manifestation of God and Mary,in work of Redumption/co-redumption.
    I am keen in understanding the baptism/blood of Christ,by the water/wine.

  5. It’s all about making the ‘correct’ distinctions between the temporal and the eternal, isn’t it? The philosophical point that the individual is in the species, and vice versa, is the answer to the current DNA analysis that at root would leave no distinction between man and animals. Things have got to be in context. Christ is eternal. Mary is Queen of Heaven. If the New Age is arguing that the divinity in us makes us equal to that, they are perhaps confusing the temporal with the eternal. And it’s an imaginative thought, only, because of this. It certainly is not transformative or performative, as I understand and have been trying to test, although someone might argue otherwise. I’m still struggling to discern the subtle distinctions. This actually is vital ‘research’ for my book which deals with such subjects, so thanks for letting me express this. Speaking to someone helps clarify thought. Yes, Indeed, the New Age philosophies are very imaginative, and poetic. And yes, indeed, I am clearer on what my perspective is on what insanity is all about. In a way, I think I sometimes use myself as a guinea pig. That’s what my daughter objects to when she says I’m dramatizing. Anyway, farewell, hopefully for me, to the New Age. They have the concepts of co-creation; (from nothing?) co-redemption? (OK substitute?) (are we our own Savior?) and what will they do with the presence of the Holy Spirit. (Maybe we can all co-author a book or something together. Or is that really what, according to scripture, with a little license, we are doing. Then, we can call our mistakes ‘artistic license’ and we don’t have to admit our insanity. As usual, the scripture reference is from memory – can’t remember where this came from. So I may, as usual, be wrong. i.e.Incomplete, Imperfect, and even though hopefully the divine is within, Temporal) My irony here.) P.S. If I give myself a bit of time, sometimes, the memory can become more specific, and correct. Thanks, Msgr. Pope I’ll leave a broader critique of New Age, hopefully, for my book!!!!

  6. Lovely Lady dressed in Blue.
    Teach me how to pray!
    God was just your little Boy,
    Tell me what to say!
    Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
    Gently, on your knee?
    Did you sing to Him the way
    Mother does to me?
    Did you hold his hand at night?
    Did you ever try
    Telling stories of the world?
    O! And did he cry?
    Do you think He really cares
    If I tell Him things ——
    Little things that happen?
    And. . . Do the Angles’ wings
    Make a noise? And can He hear
    Me if I speak low?
    Does He understand me now?
    Tell me —- for you know?
    Lovely Lady dressed in blue,
    Teach me how to pray!
    God was just your little Boy.
    And you know the way.

  7. I wonder what part of Dr. Miravalle’s talk Msgr thought was “too far”?

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