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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Didn’t Jesus tell his Mother that she was out of line in trying to influence him at Cana?

Question:

I’ve never understood why Catholics cite the story about the wedding at Cana (John 2:1–11) in reference to Mary’s intercession with Jesus. Yes, Jesus did what Mary asked—but only after making it clear that it was not her place to ask him: "Woman, what is this concern of yours to me?" Isn’t it obvious that he never intended Mary to have any say in his ministry?

Answer:

Not according to Jesus himself. He explains his objection this way: “For my hour is not yet come.” He doesn’t say, “For you may not have any say in my ministry” or “For it is not your place to ask anything of me.” He is not objecting to the request, only questioning the timing. When his “hour” arrives, she will ask, and he will hear her. What is Jesus’ “hour”? Throughout John’s Gospel this term refers above all to the “hour” of Jesus’ passion and death (Jn 7:30, 8:20, 12:23, 27, 13:1, 17:1). Jesus in effect is saying, “Why are you interceding with me? It is not yet the hour of my saving death.” In other words, Mary’s intercession, like yours and mine, draws all its power from the sacrifice of Christ. Jesus’ “hour” does not make Mary’s intercession improper or unnecessary; on the contrary, it is the very basis for Mary’s intercession.

Note that, even before his “hour,” Jesus granted Mary’s request by turning the water into wine, just as he granted the request of the Canaanite woman who persevered in prayer when Jesus appeared to refuse her request in order to test her faith (Mt 15:21–28).

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