Thursday, October 04, 2012

Day Six - Novena to the Mother of God for Our Nation

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On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. – John 2:1-11

Prayer

We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our prayers in our necessities,
But ever deliver us from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Reflection

The first explicit mention of the Mother of Jesus in St. John’s Gospel is at a wedding feast. Mary arrived at the week-long celebration before Jesus. When he arrived Mary immediately brought him a concern:They have no wine. She wanted everyone, especially the newlyweds and their families and friends, to enjoy the Wedding celebration. Certainly Mary felt the embarrassment of the young couple and was confident in bringing their need to Jesus. He responded to her intercession – yes, this is a powerful instance of Mary’s maternal mediation. Changing water into wine, Jesus performed the first great miracle of his public ministry.

St. John notes that Jesus acted to witness to his divinity for the Apostles: This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. Before the miracle the Apostles thought of Jesus as a rabbi, a kind of professor ofTorah. Seeing the water turn into wine before their eyes, the Apostles experienced Jesus’ glory as Messiah and Lord and began to believe in him. By her intercession, Mary obtained saving faith for those chosen to be the first priests of the Church. Mary, even then, understood her right to bring every human and spiritual need into the presence of her Son. Then in Cana, and now in Heaven, the Mother of God desires her Son to reveal his power as Messiah and Lord of all creation and to save his people.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church connects the first miracle of Jesus and the Sacrament of Matrimony: On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast. The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence (CCC 1613). Mary in Heaven continues to bring the human and spiritual needs of families into the radius of Christ’s messianic power.

Prayer

Mother Mary, at Cana you showed that you are the mother of many children. You understood the pain felt by the poor and turned to your Son for help. Filled with the Spirit of God, you also wanted Jesus' Apostles to share your faith in him. You understood that the absence of faith is the worst poverty any person ever experiences. You also knew that only God can give the gift of faith. Bringing these needs to Jesus in prayer, rich wine flowed through the small village of Cana and the strong wine of faith flooded the hearts of the Apostles.

Mary, we all have needs, great and small. We are poor in material resources and in spiritual goods. We beg you to bring all of our needs to Jesus. You never ask for anything that will harm your children. Jesus never refuses any request you bring to him. Pray especially for our families that are torn apart by marital infidelity, domestic violence, flaws in parental love, and the pain caused by contraception, sterilization, and abortion. Help all to understand that the Sacrament of Matrimony was instituted by your Son so that man and wife, in loving one another, may encounter his grace and bring forth children for the kingdom. Pray for your sons and daughters who bear the heavy burden of same-sex attraction. Help them discover the freedom chastity imparts and its beauty. Mary, pray that our families may live in harmony and love as you lived with Jesus and Joseph in your home in Nazareth. Mary, we need you to be our mother, the mother of all families. Amen.
Day Six of the Novena

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