Meditation: December 5: Sixth day of the novena in honor of the Immaculate

– Mary pushes our heart towards God

– Mother of Mercy

– Acknowledge the forgiveness of Jesus

“BLESSED are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). A particular characteristic of this bliss is reciprocity. That is, what we give to others will in turn be given to us as a gift from God. And it’s also the other way around: the divine mercy we receive is what drives us to be merciful to others. This is what we see in the life of Mary Immaculate. In the wedding scene at Cana, for example, we see how Mary is moved and asks for the blessing of her Son on behalf of those present.

Party guests celebrate the bride and groom. Meanwhile, Marie keeps an eye on everything. She notices that something is missing and concludes: there is no wine. “In Cana, everything is for the joy of the feast; Mary, alone, notices that the wine is missing… The soul pushes its spirit of service to the smallest attentions If, like Mary and for the love of God, it remains passionately attentive to its neighbour” [1].

Marie is aware of the problem and her heart pushes her to seek a solution. She knows that her Son’s heart is even richer in mercy, and that he is not uninterested in the problems of others. This is why she addresses him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3). And she says nothing more. She herself experienced in her own life that it is not necessary to speak loudly to move the merciful heart of her Son. It suffices to present himself as needy and, without letting go of our hand, he does the rest. “Mary places herself between her Son and men in the reality of their privations, their destitution and their sufferings. She places herself “in the middle”, that is to say, she plays the role of mediator, not as a stranger, but in her role as mother, aware that as such she can – or rather “has the right to” — make present to his Son the needs of humanity” [2] This is what she does in this novena if we leave our worries in her hands.

Jesus’ RESPONSE to Mary’s words might seem to reflect a certain indifference: “Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). It is normal for this way of addressing his Mother to be disconcerting. “We would like to object: you have too much with her! It is she who gave you flesh and blood, your body; and not only your body: by her “yes”, which she pronounced from the bottom of her heart, she gave birth to you in her womb; through maternal love, she gave you life and brought you into the community of the people of Israel” [3].

Tradition has seen in these words a parallel with the Calvary scene. These two moments are marked by the presence of Mary. At Cana, she intercedes when the “hour” of her Son has not yet come; on Calvary, when this moment is fulfilled, “Jesus entrusts his Church and all humanity to him”. At the foot of the cross, when she accepts John as her son; when, with Christ, she asks the Father for forgiveness for those who do not know what they are doing (cf. Lk 23:34), Mary, in perfect docility to the Spirit, experiences the richness and of the universality of God’s love, which expands his heart and allows him to embrace all of mankind. Thus, she gives herself to us as the Mother of each one of us. She becomes the Mother who stretches out her arms to us with divine mercy. [4].

At Cana, Jesus responds with this apparent coldness because the gift he had in mind was much greater than wine: his own Mother, through whom he would bestow his grace in abundance. The heart of the Immaculate Conception, attentive to the needs of these spouses, was called to welcome all men, to gather them together in the infinite and unconditional love of God for us. She reminds us that her Son did not come “to call the righteous but sinners” (Mt 9:13). This is why “no sin of man can nullify the mercy of God, nor prevent it from putting into action all its victorious power, provided that we appeal to it. Indeed, sin itself makes the love of the Father shine all the more, who sacrificed his Son to redeem the slave: his mercy for us is redemption. [5].

MARY is not satisfied with her son’s response. She therefore goes to see the servants and says to them: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Jesus no longer resists and performs the miracle. He makes them fill the jars with water, and when the master tastes the contents, he is amazed: “Everyone serves the good wine first and, when people have drunk well, we bring the less good. But you have kept the good wine until now” (Jn 2:10).

The party had to continue as if nothing had happened. During the celebration, most of the people present may not have been aware of the miracle that had just taken place. They certainly appreciated the wine, but without knowing where it came from. So when Jesus next invites people to be merciful in order to receive mercy, he encourages us to bestow upon others the highest gifts we hold in our hearts, without waiting to prove their good merits, for that is what God done with us. We can even offer our love when we have been wronged, because we live on the gift of God: “Each must remember that he must forgive, that he needs forgiveness and that he needs patience; this is the secret of mercy: by forgiving, we are forgiven” [6]. God goes before us by forgiving us so that we can be merciful to others.

In this Beatitude, Jesus wants us to recognize this reality: we have received more than we can give. In some way, we are all “beholden” to someone. First of all, to God, but also to so many other people who have given us so much: parents, brothers and sisters, friends… This is why we need mercy, because in many of these relationships we do not we will never be able to give back all the good that we have received. On this path of preparation for the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Mary shows us that “we will only be truly blessed, happy, when we enter into the divine logic of giving, of gratuitous love; if we discover that God has loved us infinitely to make us capable of loving like him, without measure” [7].

[1]. Saint Josemaría, furrowNo. 631.

[2]. Saint John Paul II, Redemptoris MaterNo. 21.

[3]. Benedict XVI, HomilySeptember 11, 2006.

[4]. Saint John Paul II, Veritatis splendorNo. 120.

[5].IbidNo. 118.

[6]. Pope Francis, General audienceMarch 18, 2020.

[7]. Pope Francis, MessageAugust 15, 2015.

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Meditation: December 5: Sixth day of the novena in honor of the Immaculate

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