Characters of Cana

Fr. Edward Lee Looney

Fr. Edward Lee Looney

Fr. Edward L. Looney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay on June 6, 2015. Fr. Looney has a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother, is a member of the Mariological Society of America, and has researched and written extensively on the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, recognized as the first and only approved Marian apparition in the United States. His most recent work is A Rosary Litany. To learn more visit: Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are his alone, and do not reflect those of his diocese. He seeks to always remain faithful to the Magisterium.

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4 thoughts on “Characters of Cana”

  1. Augustine interpreted Christ’s response to Mary on the wine shortage at Cana as confrontational and 95% of subsequent translators followed his unfortunate interpretation and therefore they then gave not literal translations of what Christ said to Mary but they gave “sense for sense” translations of what he said. The result was translation disaster. Translations should have stuck with Christ’s original words: “what to me and to you “….which is not rude and is a rarely used idiom in scripture.
    Instead of those harmless words we get instead Augustine’s son/mom arguing ( Augustine had many confrontational moments with his mom over being an heretical Manichaean prior to conversion).
    Here are Protestant and Catholic sense for sense son/mom cold words from Christ:

    John 2:4Revised Standard Version (RSV)
    4 And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

    John 2:4New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
    4 [a][And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”

    Pretty self involved Christ thanks to Augustine. But the literal Christ was actually assuring Mary that He would do the miracle by using the rare idiom (what to me and to you) ( see Vulgate) …because it is used by Eliseus in 2 Kings 3 ( in the Vulgate) right before he miraculously produces water that looks like blood to the distant enemy, the Moabites. Christ had explained that passage to Mary before Cana in terms of water, blood, wine previously in one of the most important veiled prophecy sections of the OT…2 Kings 3 and 4 concerning Christ as Messiah. They didn’t have gadgets like we do…they discussed scripture after supper like the gadgetless Amish do. And no one knew veiled scripture better than Christ who inspired them all in union with the Holy Spirit.
    Christ by using Eliseus’ “what to me and to you” brought Mary’s mind to the water/ blood passage and she immediately knows Christ just said YES I’ll change the water into wine like Eliseus changed water into blood in the perception of the Moabites. Augustine and his millions of followers could never understand how Mary heard an immediate yes where Augustine saw resistance by Christ. Now y’all know. It’s all about 2 Kings 3. And ps…Christ was assuring Mary in that moment that He would not be killed soon…but that’s an even deeper level of this moment. Mary feared that if Christ went public with a miracle, He would be arrested and killed quickly as the prophecies called for….but that was three years in the future but Mary didn’t know that. As she approached Christ with anxiety on her face yet wanting help for the couple, Christ saw the anxiety in her eyes and expression and voice tenor….and He assuaged it with those same ancient words…” what to me and to you”… ” woman” ( mother of all the living)…. my hour has not yet come ( my hour to be arrested and killed is several years off….don’t fret mom).
    That all is why Mary heard an immediate yes….where Augustine placed his own son/ mom baggage which colors 95% of English translations. Stay with the Vulgate…” what to me and to you”.

  2. I have to remember where the idea comes from, but I like the idea that one of the Saints put forth where Jesus’s reticence to comply with Mary’s request was his realization (per Simeon’s prophecy) of the pain that his ministry and death would cause his mother, and him basically double-checking that she understood what his doing a miracle like that in public entailed for both His life and for hers from that point forward.

    Also, those bride and groom were lousy at throwing a party — or at being hosts (seems that they weren’t thinking of their guests). They couldn’t plan worth a damn and their social status was only saved by His miracle. Of course, since Jesus was a single guy going stag to said wedding and hanging out with his mother, it’s not like the couple or any of the other married folks there would have even paid attention to what the Lord was doing!

    1. There’s a bad tendency among the modern Idolaters of Marriage to make this sense ABOUT a wedding rather than AT a wedding (a.k.a. where Jesus would have encountered large amounts of wine that would be quickly drunk — even through the Late Middle Ages, “revelries” as a word referred to wedding feasts because that’s the only place where such drinking occurred). That the Gospel Narrative focuses on the *servants* rather than on the *hosts* is a KEY signifier of the Gospel message, lost to modern couples who focus only on the money blown on their own receptions.

  3. Pingback: Family and Marriage: Analysis -

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