The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 73.

What would be hidden from the Mother of Wisdom, who was able to contain God, that vessel worthy of so great power ? " (Serm. IX., De Evangel)

It may be, then, that for the sake of her higher sanctification, our Lord appeared at first to refuse the request of His Blessed Mother at Cana.

For myself, however, I now seriously more than doubt whether there was any refusal whatsoever, even in appearance. (If it be urged against me that in this I am running counter to great authority, I can reply that I am taking the view which seems, on the whole, to be the more honourable to our Lady. But I have tried to look at the matter without prejudice either way—exegetically.)

It is certain that the words which our Lord spoke do not of themselves necessarily involve refusal. If, for example, they were accompanied by a smile (and who can tell that they were not ?) they would be almost playful: " My Mother, why do you ask Me ? You know that I can refuse you nothing."

However this may be, our Lady immediately told the waiters to be ready to play their part in the miraculous events which, evidently, she still expected to take place, and thus in effect persevered in her request, as she certainly never would have done, had she understood from the words which Christ had just spoken that to grant her request was not in accordance with the Divine Will.

Having fulfilled her office, the Blessed Mother of God probably retired, without curiosity as to the sequel, to the women's quarters. Our Lord immediately worked the miracle, and commanded that the water, now made wine, should be taken to the architriclinius, that is to the Ruler of the Feast—the friend of the bridegroom—whose duty it was to organise the banquets for the male guests, and in this capacity to taste the food and wines before they were placed upon the table. This official found the wine delicious, and having no idea from what source it had come (John ii. 9.)—he had known nothing of the fact that the old supply had run short—sent for the bridegroom. In true Oriental fashion he thought that he would take the opportunity, as an older man—a man of affairs and of the world—to read his friend a little lesson. " It is our custom to give the best wine first. You have kept this excellent wine to the end. Really it was not necessary." The bridegroom was puzzled. He knew nothing of what had actually happened, but " the servants who drew the wine knew." (id) When they were questioned, all was brought to light, the failure of the wine that had been originally provided, the intervention of Mary, the miracle worked by Jesus in answer to her petition. The event was much discussed, and was the first great wonder that led to our Lord being recognised as the Messias whom Israel was expecting.

"This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested forth His Glory, and His disciples believed in Him." (John ii. II)