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Cana and Calvary

At Cana, Our Lord was referring to Calvary and saying that the time appointed for beginning the task of Redemption was not yet at hand. His mother was asking for a miracle; He was implying that a miracle worked as a sign of His Divinity would be the beginning of His death. The moment he showed Himself before men as the Son of God, He would draw down upon Himself their hatred, for evil can tolerate mediocrity, but not supreme goodness.

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There is a striking parallel between His Father’s bidding Him to His public death and His mother’s bidding Him to His public life. Obedience triumphed in both cases; at Cana, the water was changed into wine; at Calvary, the wine was changed into blood.

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As soon as he consented to begin His “Hour,” He proceeded immediately to tell her that her relations with Him would be henceforth changed. Until then, during His hidden life, she had been known as the mother of Jesus. But now that He was launched on the work of Redemption, she would now longer be just His mother, but also the mother of all His human brethren whom He would redeem. To indicate this new relationship, He now addressed her, not as “Mother” but as the “Universal Mother” or “Woman.”

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Thus He did at a marriage feast what He would not do in a desert; He worked in the full gaze of men what He had refused to do before Satan. Satan asked Him to turn stones into bread in order that He might become an economic Messias; His mother asked Him to change water into wine that He might become a Savior. Satan tempted him from death; Mary “tempted” Him to death and Resurrection. Satan tried to lead him from the Cross; Mary sent Him toward it. Later on, He would take hold of the bread that Satan had said men needed, and the wine that His mother had said the wedding guests needed, and He would change them both into the memorial of His Passion and His death. Then He would ask that men renew that memorial, even “unto the consummation of the world.”

—From Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen, Ch. 5: The Beginning of “The Hour”

life of Christ

 

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