Sermon given by Father Pancras Raja on January 19th, 2020
“There was a Marriage in Cana of galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there” (Jn. 2: 1)
In today’s gospel the Most Blessed Virgin has been pictured for us among the guests at the Jewish Wedding. When the wine was found insufficient, Our Lady felt compassion for the embarrassment of the young couple – and her sympathy led her to remark quietly to her Son: “They have no wine.”
Jesus, although his hour for a public miracle had not yet come, decides to make use of his divine power to comply with his Mother’s request! And knowing the mind of Jesus, his Blessed Mother says to the waiters: “Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.” (v. 5) Jesus told them to “fill the water pots with water.” They prepared six pots and filled them to the brim with water. Jesus drew near – and quietly – without any word or gesture changed the water into wine, and thus manifested his glory by his “first miracle.”
Yes, my dear brethren, the Catholic Liturgy recognizes in this miracle a figure of Our Lady’s powerful intercession, and the wonderful “transubstantiation” which occurs daily at Mass in our churches. The bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ, and we are nourished with this supernatural wine when grace is found insufficient in us.
The Holy Eucharist is the great manifestation of the eternal incarnate wisdom which catholic Christians witness as the first and greatest miracle – in his union with or to the wedding feast in the mystical body of Christ – the Church.
Our Lady’s powerful intercession
Let us contemplate in this great miracle the essential connection between Our Lady’s powerful intercession, and the wonderful works of God!
God gave many precious gifts to his chosen people in the old testament. But this, his most precious gift, he preserved until his holy mother felt compassion over the young couple and said: “Whatsoever he shall say to you” = fiat vobis secundum verbum ejus (let it be done to you according to his word). This first miracle according to the order of nature reflects the same compassion of the Blessed Virgin over humanity, by which her divine love led her to pronounce the ineffable “fiat”. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum = Let it be done to me according to thy word. This “fiat” was so essential for the hypostatic union of the Divinity and Humanity of the God – made – Man in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that without her “Fiat” there is no “Incarnation” possible.
Thus, the first miracle at Cana according to the order of nature – water becoming wine, reflects the first great miracle of incarnation according to the order of grace – God becoming man! Do you see the relation between divine Mary’s consent or intercession and the miracle of Incarnation at annunciation and the miracle at the Marriage in Cana of galilee?
Our Lady and the wonderful “transubstantiation”
“Thou hast kept the good wine until now!” – the steward exclaimed. The good wine which has been saved (or kept) until now is the Holy Eucharist! Yes, this “good wine” – water changed into wine (signifying the Holy Eucharist, bread and wine changed into the body and blood of Jesus) was not served for those who sat for the marriage banquet before the intervention of the Holy Mary Mother of God. The people of the old testament. “They did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live forever” (Jn. 6: 59)
And this “good wine” the Holy Communion is not served to those who willfully despise the intercession of the Mother of God – the protestants. They are not able to address her: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.” Therefore, they found their faith in the miracle of transubstantiation insufficient. Consequently, they find themselves insufficient in the grace of supernatural life. Of these Our Lord said: “But there are some of you that believe not. …. Therefore, did I say to you, that no man come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.” (Jn. 6: 65, 66) But those who believed in the miracle of transubstantiation, said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life!” (Jn. 6: 69)
Now after Vat II we see also inside the Catholic Church the same lack of faith in the miracle of transubstantiation! (transignification)
Let us pray to Our Lady that she may intercede for them that she may bring forth the great miracle of conversion of the modernist “novus ordo” world to the real belief in the great miracle of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Our Lady’s Sacramental presence in our life, as mediatrix of all graces
“And the Mother of Jesus was there!” As without her “Fiat” there was no “Incarnation” possible, life of grace in our families is impossible without the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Of course, all Catholics know this to be true; but how true it is, perhaps we do not sufficiently consider this fact. Let us, then, distinctly bring before our minds the care with which the Blessed Virgin had been created and adorned by God and made worthy of the high dignity to be imposed upon Her as “Mother of all mankind”. (“Behold thy son …. Behold thy mother” – Jn. 19: 25, 26, 27) We should take her to our own, as his disciple did.
Not only at the Sacrament of Matrimony, but in all the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church our Blessed Mother is present to distribute God’s graces through her maternal hands. Mary’s mediation is based on her intimate union and consent to the Passion and Death of Christ. Moreover, we find in Scripture that Jesus comes to the world through Mary, literally. St. Elizabeth and her baby St John the Baptist were filled with the Holy Ghost when St Elizabeth hears the voice of Mary. Jesus works His first miracle at Cana at Mary’s request. Furthermore, Mary is present at Pentecost when the Holy Ghost is poured out upon the Apostles. Just as Mary’s voice was the instrument that carried grace to Saint Elizabeth, so Mary is the personal instrument by which grace flows to us from Christ. And therefore, St Bernard of Clairvaux called her the “aqueduct of grace.”
The Divine Mary mediates Sacramental Grace
As for sacramental grace, Saint Cyril of Alexandria, when addressing the Fathers of the Council of Ephesus (AD 431) stated that the grace of baptism, confirmation, and Holy Orders flow through Mary to the Church.
But when we think about the seven sacraments, we can find out that all the seven Sacraments enjoy the mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1. Baptism removes the stain of Eve (Mary is the New Eve), gives us the Holy Ghost (the Spouse of Mary), and unites us to the death and resurrection of Christ (Mary mediates standing under the cross)
2. Confirmation is the sacrament that confers the grace of Pentecost to each of us. Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Ghost and she was present at Pentecost, giving birth to the Church, the mystical body of Christ.
3. Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ. This flesh and blood of the Eternal Incarnate Word were derived from the virginal womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. No human Mother? – No Body and Blood. She has all right to