Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our Lady and Epiphanytide

The Wedding at Cana
From Fr. Mark:
Epiphanytide, with its five distinctive Gospels, actualises the manifestation and inbreaking of God in the Church today. Each of these five Gospels manifests the adorable divinity of Jesus Christ, “God from God, Light from Light, Very God from Very God”. In response to these mystery–events, one can only fall down and adore. The five Gospels of Epiphanytide are:

1. Matthew 2:1-12, Our Lord makes himself known to the Magi by means of a star, and receives their adoration in Bethlehem.
And behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him. (Mt 2:9-11)
2. John 1:29-34 — At His Baptism in the Jordan by John, the Holy Ghost descends in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father reveals Jesus as His Beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.
Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Lk 3:21-22)
3. John 2:1-11 — At the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, Jesus, at His Mother’s bidding, changes water into wine.
And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. (Jn 2:3-5)
4. Matthew 8:1-13 — Jesus, with a word, cleanses a leper.
And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. (Mt 8:2-3)
5. Matthew 8:23-27 — Jesus calms the raging sea.
And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. (Mt 8:24-25)
The Seven Utterances of the Mother of God
The particular mystery–event that illumines the Second Sunday after Epiphany is the miraculous sign given at the wedding feast of Cana: water changed into wine at the behest of the Mother of God. A number of truths emerge from this Gospel. First of all, it tell us much about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Our Lady speaks but seven times in the Gospels. Today’s Gospel gives us the last of these seven utterances.
1. “And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?” (Luke 1:34)
2.”And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.” (Luke 1:40).
3. “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38)
4. “And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” (Luke 1:46–55)
5. “And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” (Luke 2:48)
6. “And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.” (John 2:3)
7. “His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.” (John 2:5)
The Maternal Heart of Mary
What does this last recorded utterance of the Blessed Virgin Mary tells us about her? It tells us, first of all, that Our Lady is observant. No one spoke to the Mother of Jesus of the lack of wine that would have brought humiliation upon the bridegroom and troubled the joy of the feast. Mary observed quietly. She noticed what would have escaped the attention of another. Her maternal Heart compelled her to intervene, and so she spoke to her Son” “They have no wine” (John 2:3).

There is no detail of our lives that escapes Our Lady’s notice. Her maternal Heart is at every moment attentive to the circumstances of our lives. Mary is, according the lovely expression of the poet John Lynch, “a woman wrapped in silence”. Mary’s silence is not the silence of one removed from those around her and absorbed in herself. It is the silence of a maternal Heart intent on observing everything that impinges upon the life of her children. There is no sorrow of ours, no need, no anguish that Our Lady does not see and take to heart. (Read more.)

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