Presentata Curia 26th February 2015

Allocutio: Mary’s significant place in Our Lord’s Ministry.

It is worth looking closer at the wedding feast of Cana. In St. John’s Gospel we are told that the disciples were beginning to get to know Our Lord. John the Baptist, already a significant figure in Our Lady’s life, had pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God and the disciples Andrew and John had gone to stay one evening with him. The next day Andrew found his brother and brought him to Jesus. The day after that Jesus called Philip to follow him and he in turn told Nathaniel who quickly asserted that Jesus was the Son of God. It was the day after that that they went down to Cana.

So we have this small group of disciples going with Jesus to a wedding where possibly they do not know the parties. You get the impression that Mary knew the coupe and may even have been there because she was a good organiser. Jesus may have known them too. So the disciples go with Jesus, mainly interested in getting to know more about Jesus and they kept close to him. If so they were about to learn something significant about Jesus.

Try and put your feet into their sandals. What do you notice? What you learn at the wedding feast of Cana is that his Mother Mary is a significant player in his life. You learn that she has an authority over him that no one else on earth has. You note that she came to him and almost knowingly suggested that he wedding was in some trouble as he wine had run out. They notice that he tries to evade the implication in what she says, “Woman, what is that to me, my hour has not yet come!” And Mary looks at the motley crew of disciples he has gathered and decides, “Son, your time has come!” She turns to the servants and says, “Do whatever he tells you” and Jesus capitulates to her wishes. The miracle he wrought stunned them all. But they knew it was Mary who was the main architect of the event.

This woman then was a significant player in the life of Jesus. In a sense those early disciples realised that Mary is part of the Jesus package. You cannot have him without her. And as if to emphasise it once the wedding was over we are told that Jesus went down to Capernaum with his mother, brothers and disciples. And they stayed there a few days.

We are not told of anything of note in those few days but what must have been clear is that Mary was a significant person in the life of Jesus. St. John who was one of this group is the disciple who seems to have come closest to Mary for he stood with her at the foot of the Cross and from the Cross Jesus gave them to each other as Mother and Son and through them gave us Mary as Our Mother. Jesus would not have done this except that he knew there was a good relationship between them.

We note later too how Mary stayed with these disciples in the Upper Room praying. This was not a case of the disciples being kind to her and looking after her. They already had a strong bond with her, built up from that time they first saw her influence at the wedding feast of Cana and they days they stayed with her and Jesus after that event.

What I wish to emphasise is this: a disciple of Jesus who refuses to let Mary into the world of following and serving Jesus has not grasped the proper Jesus story. The first disciples learnt very early on that Mary had a significant influence over Jesus and that she was part of what he was. And any true disciple must like those early disciples frequent her company and call on her friendship in their dealing with Jesus. It is not for no reason that the Church from as far back as we can go showed great devotion to and interest in this woman.

Get her on your side, get her involved in your concerns and your chances of getting a solution jump up the queue by bounds and light years.
Fr Paul Churchill

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