Thursday, July 08, 2004

For Thursday
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., on the wedding feast of Cana and the Last Supper

To His Mother He had said, "What have I to do with thee?" and now to His Apostles, "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say unto you." On this, "Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou?" and when our Lord answered him, that whither He went, he could not follow Him then, the zealous and impatient Apostle persisted, "Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now?" [John xiii. 33, 36.]

On the other hand, He promised that the separation should be but for a season. As to St. Mary, He had said, "Mine hour is not yet come;" so He said to St. Peter, in the passage just cited, "Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards." And as at His first feast, He had seemed to turn from His Mother's prayer, while He granted it, because of the time, so to His Apostles He foretold, at His second feast, what the power of their prayers should be hereafter, by way of cheering them on His departure. "Ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. In that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you." [John xvi. 22, 23.] And again, "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you." [John xv. 14, 15.] In the gifts then promised to the Apostles after the Resurrection, we may learn the present influence and power of the Mother of God.

Such seems to be the connexion between the feast with which our Lord began, and that with which He ended His ministry. Nay, may we not add without violence, that in the former feast He had in mind and intended to foreshadow the latter? for what was that first miracle by which He manifested His glory in the former, but the strange and awful change of the element of water into wine? and what did He in the latter, but change the Paschal Supper and the typical lamb into the sacrament of His atoning sacrifice, and the creatures of bread and wine into the verities of His most precious Body and Blood? He began His ministry with a miracle; He ended it with a greater.

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