Q : 
Dear Fr. Francis, at the wedding in Cana when Mama Mary told Jesus that there was no more wine, did Mama Mary want Jesus to do a miracle? What was Mama Mary\’s intention at that moment? I am now studying John’s Gospel with a renowned Christian Bible study fellowship and I was told that Mama Mary, like other disciples, wanted Jesus to reveal His identity. I have never given a deep thought on that. Did it also take time for Mama Mary to grow her faith and have deeper understanding of Jesus?
【 Question from 】 Hong Kong 香港

Fr. Francis : 

Ah, how would I know what Mother Mary was thinking? That is not exegesis, that is eisogesis, putting things into the bible!

I think this is a perfect example that we need to dialogue with the Word, and with Mary in this case, and of course with God, with Jesus, when we read a passage like this.

There are, however, a number of things we know from the bible and from Tradition about Mary that could help.

Mary, like us, was a creature. She was not God. Even without original sin, she could only know things partially and had to learn things. She for sure did not know all of Jesus’ plan and timeline.

However, she was the first and the best disciple. She  already spent 30 years with Him by that time and she always pondered through all the big and small mysteries of His life. It would rather be hard to imagine that she did not know Jesus mode of operation, his desires and much of his plan in general by then. For example, she already knew He would manifest Himself in some way, he would be opposed and would suffer, and she would suffer greatly with Him, and that all these would be necessary for God’s plan of salvation.

So coming back to the passage in question. When Mary commented on the wine, Jesus immediately said it was not his time yet. Then she ordered the servants to do whatever Jesus were to ask them to do. Assuming this was not a dysfunctional dialogue, as the two did not seem to be communicating, but it appeared disjoint to us only because their intimate familiarity with each other did not require the articulation of complete thoughts. Rather, this “dialogue” is proof that they understood each other perfectly. Based on this assumption, this means that Jesus understood his mother perfectly that she wanted him to do something (thus the assertion that it was not yet the time), and that she also understood Jesus perfectly that He was willing to do something if she desired so (thus the order to the servants).

Better yet, the fact that Mary did not directly asked Jesus, which she could as his mother, reflects that she understood the primacy of God’s Will. She accepted that Jesus was God, and she would not force His Will. By only commenting on the wine, and then ordering the servants to be ready to do his bidding, she left the initiation wholly to Jesus. She understood Jesus was in control, she was just the handmaid, advocating for others’ needs.

As to whether Mary wanted Jesus to reveal his identity? Given what I stated above, I believe Mary already knew that Jesus would eventually manifest himself in some fashion. Her concern was not revealing Him. Her concern was wondering when and how it would happen. And here at the wedding there was a need, yes a small need, was it not time already for Him to start his mission? She must have known it would be any day.

Obviously, the above is my own musings, from my dialogue with Mary. What about you? Imagine Mary’s whole life up to then, and put yourself there to ask her. Let her and Jesus tell you.