Marian Devotion (Day 18)
May 18, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 18
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (2:1-12)

On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there,  and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.  When the wine was exhausted, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” Jesus responded, “Woman, what concern is this to us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now standing nearby there were six stone water jars, of the type used for Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.  Jesus instructed the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When they had filled them to the brim,  he ordered them, “Now draw some out and take it to the chief steward,” and they did so.

 When the chief steward tasted the water that had become wine, he did not know where it came from, although the servants who had drawn the water knew. The chief steward called over the bridegroom  and said, “Everyone serves the choice wine first, and then an inferior vintage when the guests have been drinking for a while. However, you have saved the best wine until now.”

 Jesus performed this, the first of his signs, at Cana in Galilee, thereby revealing his glory, and his disciples believed in him. After this, he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brethren, and his disciples, and they remained there for a few days.

From Mary for Today by Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar

Mary plays a mysterious role at the wedding at Cana. The couple whose wedding it was were clearly friends of the family in Nazareth: the mother was invited (her husband was presumably no longer alive) as well as her son along with his friends, who were probably regarded as his first followers. Mary is one among many other guests. But she is the first to notice the embarrassing situation these probably not very well-off people are in, and if she draws her son’s attention to it, it is certainly not because she expects him to work a miracle (hitherto he had not worked any—John 2:11) but in the hope that he would find a solution. What is to be noted here is Mary’s awareness of the needs of the poor and her instinctive sense that her son must be told about it and that he will somehow be able to provide help.

And then it is as if the whole scene has moved up to a higher plane. Jesus has begun his ministry: he is no longer this person’s son. And in his ministry he no longer sees Mary as his own mother but as “the woman,” the other, the “helpmate,” who, however, will only take on her own proper role when he finally, on the Cross, becomes the “new Adam.” She has already suffered: the sword has already pierced her soul. He, on the other hand, is only now marching toward his “hour.” Then, in complete poverty and stripped of everything, even of God, he will change the wine into his blood: the effusive response to every most audacious entreaty. The “woman” whom he tries to put off—“What have you to do with me?”—is, however, already from the start the Church, and as such she has a right to insist on her “request” (actually, just her pointing out of the people’s need). But she does it in the most wonderful way that expresses everything at the same time: her complete disinterest and surrender to his will, but also her confident hope; and it is precisely by not pushing, by her lack of self-will, that she prevails and the hour of the Cross is anticipated: not yet is wine transformed into blood, but water into wine: “Do whatever he tells you.” Perhaps nowhere is Mary’s whole disposition more present than in this saying.

Musical Selection

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-Sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple; Christ the Temple's Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven's Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother's Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.  Amen.


All-holy Father,
in your divine wisdom and love
you chose that the Blessed Virgin Mary
should play her part
in the mysteries of our salvation;
grant that by heeding the words of Christ’s Mother
we may do what he commands
in the Gospel he has given.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Our Lady of Cana)