The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 69.

The first word that grates, as applied by Christ to His Mother, is the word: Woman. Here a little explanation is all that is necessary. It can easily be shown that the Greek word to be found in the Gospel like the Aramaic word which it renders, is in itself quite compatible with respect. It is virtually the equivalent of our word Lady. And if a child asks why our Lord called His Blessed Mother Lady, rather than Mother, it is easy to explain that in the East no grown-up man would ever dream of addressing his mother, in public at least, as " Mother "—this would sound as ridiculous as for a grown-up Englishman to call his mother publicly " Mama." I think, therefore, that the Douay translation (since it is able to place an explanatory footnote) does well in translating γυνή, literally " Woman," for to translate Lady would serve no useful purpose. Englishmen do not address their mothers as " Lady." Personally I think that in quoting this passage, when one wishes to do so without delaying over explanations, the most truthful translation is " My Mother," or simply " Mother." This is the way in which men address their mothers in this country, and therefore accurately represents in English the word used by our Lord, who spoke to His Mother according to the manner of speech usual in His time in Syria.

Catholic writers have sometimes emphasised the fact that our Blessed Lady is The Woman, who stands for all womanhood as its ideal perfection in the Creative Mind of God, moreover that she is the Woman of Prophecy, between whom and Satan God placed " enmities," who was destined to undo the work of the first woman, our mother Eve. They have surmised that with reference to this truth she may have been addressed by our Lord as " Woman" at Cana, and once again on Calvary: " Woman, behold thy son." For my own part, however, I should not think it well to illustrate the fact of our Lady's co-operation in the Redemption by the use of the word Woman by Christ, for the simple reason that He could hardly have used any other word, since there was no other that could have been used by a son to his mother with suit ability. We find that our Lord used the expression not only to His Blessed Mother, but also to the Samaritan woman : " Woman, believe me that the hour cometh ";  (John iv. 21.) to the woman of Canaan: " Woman, great is thy faith "; (Matt. xv. 28.) to St. Mary Magdalen after His Resurrection : " Woman, why weepest thou ?" (John xx. 15.) Since, then, it was evidently the usual mode of address, it is, I think, impossible to attach any special significance to its use, one way or the other, when we find it employed by Christ at Cana and on Calvary.