Our Lady at the wedding of Cana

Dear community,

I’m going to our Anglican parish Bible study tomorrow, 12 September. We’ll be looking at the wedding at Cana from St John’s Gospel. I’d really love to bring up some points about Our Lady’s role there, as I feel she could be very important to us all at the parish. (After all, our altar has the Sistine Madonna by Raphael behind it!)

Can anybody expound on Mary’s role at the wedding at Cana? I can put my questions together like this:

  1. How can one say that Mary prompted Jesus to perform his first miracle? Would He have done it without her?
  2. What’s this “Woman” about?
  3. What’s the best translation of verse 4, when it says in the Greek “what to me to thee”?

I heard Archbishop Fulton Sheen on this verse recently, he has some very interesting ideas, however it isn’t that easy to explain.

I hope you can help me bring Our dear Lady closer to our parish. After all, now that I’ve decided to become Catholic soon, I want to share it with others.

God bless you all, and thank you.

There is so much to say about this. But, let me just put this out there.

Mary did not give Jesus a command to start his ministry. Nor, did she tell Jesus how to solve the problem. She asked her son to help the wedding guests.

Jesus demonstrated that he would honor his mother - despite his being God + human while she was only human. (I wonder - if Jesus shows honor to Mary - why would we not also honor her??)

Perhaps Jesus could have said, “Yeah, well, let’s go over to Fred’s place - I built that with my dad and he said that if we ever needed anything, we could stop on in.” There was no demand that a miracle be performed. Only that the issue associated with the wine be addressed (running out of wine would be an embarrassment to the newly wedded couple, by the way).

I think that Mary gives us the perfect way to approach Jesus - in a humble way. We do not need to give Christ time tables in our prayer requests. We do not need to tell Jesus how to go about “solving the problem.” We need to state the problem and ask if he will provide help.

The best example of the first point comes from the Bible passages themselves:

1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there,
2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.
3 And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’
4 Jesus said, 'Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.'
5 His mother said to the servants, 'Do whatever he tells you.'
6 There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he said to them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the president of the feast.’

Basically, Jesus told her it wasn’t time for him to perform miracles yet, and Mary ignored him because she had faith that he could do it. She instructed the helpers to listen to him and Jesus, not one to disobey his mother, performed the miracle. From this, we can say that no, had Mary not intervened, the miracle would definitely not have happened… unless Joseph intervened… then maybe…

  1. Woman used on it’s own is not a pejorative as it may be perceived based on modern usage, it is instead a mere reflection of the feminine nature of Mary. She was a woman, and so he referred to her as such.

…He might also have been a little annoyed because he didn’t think he was supposed to be doing miracles yet, but I doubt it :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. The translation in that quote is the best I’m aware of, but I’ve never sat down and tried to translate it myself :stuck_out_tongue:

“What to me to thee” would basically be, “What is it that I can do for you?”

Hope this helps.

  1. It seems likely that Jesus would not have done anything had Mary not asked him or sent the servants to him. The party was a party, not something that people’s souls depended on.

  2. The title “Woman” would have been a formal, respectful way to address his mother. Also, the community St. John was writing to likely referred to Mary as “the Woman,” themselves (St. John was known in the same community simply as “the Apostle”).

  3. Sorry, I don’t know which translation is best.

I have been told that the doors were closed at the beginning of the wedding party, and the party continued for several days. It ended only when the doors were opened again.

That is why the the doors could not be opened for the foolish virgins when they arrived late.

If Jesus had not intervened, it would have been necessary to end the celebration.

As for “Woman”, my wife was quite distressed when she overheard some Hispanic teens referring to her as “Old Lady”. Some one explained to her that the term they used is an honorific in Spanish.

this is correct

I believe what translates to “Woman” in English is a honorific title, same as how we use “Madame” or “Ma’am” or even “Lady”. There is just cultural context there that got lost in translation. In the English it sounds like a diss, but not so in their culture. You can find the same thing today where a certain action in one culture is a sign of respect, but it is disrespectful in another.

Here’s a transcript of a talk Scott Hahn gave on our Blessed Mother. Towards the end is the Wedding Feast at Cana.
catholic-pages.com/bvm/hahn.asp

Also, the agapebible study on same.
agapebiblestudy.com/john_gospel/Chapter%202.htm

Free course by Scott Hahn.
salvationhistory.com/studies/lesson/queen_wedding_at_cana_garden_in_eden

It’s great to see how much is available to us for free.

I have heard that John could be using the term “woman” in reference to “the woman” in Gen 3:15 and Rev 12. (It was John who also wrote Revelation.)

Re #1, this is one of many occasions where Jesus worked a miracle for person B because person A interceded for person B.

:thumbsup:
Mary = “the New Eve”
Jesus = “the New Adam”

I don’t know if this is legit theology. But, I’ve been thinking about it. Here’s how I’ve been looking at it:

Eve, through her disobedience, brings sin into the world.
Mary, through her obedience, brings the savior into the world.

Adam, through his disobedience, man is kicked out of the Garden of Eden (a place made by God for Man)
Jesus, through his obedience, becomes the sacrifice for our spiritual exodus.

Water to Wine…

The water jars are a sign of Jewish purification John 2: 6

John 2: 4 …“My hour has not yet come”. [for purification?] Was His response to Mary)

John the Baptist cleansed with water Jesus cleanses with wine (his blood which will come later).

Mary receives the “right” response from Jesus by asking the right question “They are out of wine” as well as Mary asking the servants “Do whatever he tells you” which together is very telling of the intimate spiritual relationship. Not just of mother and son.

=CutlerB;9761106]Dear community,

I’m going to our Anglican parish Bible study tomorrow, 12 September. We’ll be looking at the wedding at Cana from St John’s Gospel. I’d really love to bring up some points about Our Lady’s role there, as I feel she could be very important to us all at the parish. (After all, our altar has the Sistine Madonna by Raphael behind it!)

Can anybody expound on Mary’s role at the wedding at Cana? I can put my questions together like this:

  1. How can one say that Mary prompted Jesus to perform his first miracle? Would He have done it without her?

No-one knows. But Divine Providence is at work here. “Accidents”, “coincedience” and such are non-existant. GOD IS IN CHARGE.

The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen recounts this even beautifully, in his book: the Life of Christ. The effect of this act “DO WHAT EVER HE TELLS YOU” was PROFOUND and far reaching.

John.2: 5 "His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Acts.3: 22 "Moses said, `The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.

In effect Mary was knowingly and willingly [without full knowledge of all of the details], “condeming Jesus to death early.” She was in FULL agreement on His Ministry even though she was aware of the price she too was being asked to pay.

Luke.2: 35 “(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”

The “water to wine” is also pointing to the Eucharist: Wine becomming Christ Himself!

A third effect was: John 2:11 " This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him."

  1. What’s this “Woman” about?

This has to do with what God forsaw as Mary’s role as “Mother of all humanity” and her participation as our most perfect Intercessor on our behalf in salvation.

Gen.3: 15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

This is God fulfilling this prophesy through Mary with full consent of both Christ and Mary.

John 19: 25-27 “But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag’dalene. When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother,** “Woman, behold, your son!” **Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”

John here represents all of humanity. The term “women” is entended to reflect Universality.

  1. What’s the best translation of verse 4, when it says in the Greek “what to me to thee”?

This was Jesus AS GOD the Redeemer asking: “do you know what your asking?” Are you aware that your in effect setting into motion my death? Do you understand that YOU TOO will have to suffer? NO DOUBT this action was by the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

**Her response “DO WHAT EVER HE TELLS YOU” is a YES I DO! **[thy will be done as was ALWAYS the case of Mary and God].

I heard Archbishop Fulton Sheen on this verse recently, he has some very interesting ideas, however it isn’t that easy to explain.

Actually is is.:slight_smile:

I hope you can help me bring Our dear Lady closer to our parish. After all, now that I’ve decided to become Catholic soon, I want to share it with others.

God bless you all, and thank you.

WELCOME HOME!

Hope you find this useful?

God Bless, pat /PJM here on the FORUM

And the Holy Spirit ousted the serpent [the evil spirit].

I read someplace of the Triad of the Fall and the Triad of the Redemption.

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