17 January 2016

Cana and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today wraps up - or it does in 'Traditional' lectionary terms - the Scriptural offerings of Epiphany. Hitherto, the Lucan picture of Mary has concentrated our attention upon how attuned her Immaculate Heart is the will of God: "Let it be unto me"; "He has done great things for me"; "Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her Heart"; "And his Mother kept all these things in her Heart". But in the traditional Gospel reading of the Second Sunday after Epiphany, S John steps up to the podium to show her as also attuned to the needs of others ("They have no wine"). Even though the Hour of her Son's Glory has not yet come, the intercession of her Heart mediates through shared obedience ("Do whatever he tells you") the first great Sign which manifests his Glory.

Scripture** tells us that, because her Heart is Immaculate, Mary Sees God, and the intercession of the one who Saw led to the Johannine Theophany. However, although the divine doxa was manifested to his own, his own received him not. But to all who did receive him - to all who beheld and behold his glory, glory as of God-only-begotten - he gives power to become (like himself*, indeed, in himself) the Son of the Virgin, born not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of the male, but as the Only-begotten of the Father and the one Seed of Abraham who is the one Child of Mary aeiparthenos kai polupais.

Her Immaculate Heart will prevail.

_____________________________________________________________

*Whatever the origin of the 'Western' variant reading hos ... ouk egennethe, I feel sure that it accurately pinpoints the allusion intended by S John to the Lord's Virginal Conception and Birth.

**This paragraph draws on Luke 1:38,49; 2:19,51, John (and the apparatus criticus of) 1:13, Matthew 5:8, and Galatians 3:16.

No comments: