By Jacqueline Hollcraft
When making a Marian Consecration, we often say we go “to Jesus through Mary.” Why do we need to go to Jesus through Mary? Can’t we approach Jesus ourselves? He is our Lord and Creator, the mediator between us and the Father. Why do we need yet another mediator in the form of His mother, herself a human creature?
For me, the answer lies in the beautiful miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. Take a moment to read or recall John 2:1-11. This Gospel narrative details Jesus’ first miracle, the moment he turned water into wine for a newly married couple at their wedding feast. Prompted by his mother, Jesus manifests himself to his disciples and begins his public ministry.
When I read and reflect on this Gospel passage, I am drawn to the “supporting cast,” the overlooked people who cooperate with Christ’s miracle:
“His mother said to the servers, ‘Do whatever he tells you . . .’ Jesus told them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.’ So they took it.” (John 2:5, 7-8, NAB)
The servers in this Gospel passage are incredibly mysterious to me, and as I’ve read John’s account over the years, my list of unanswered questions about the servers has only grown:
Why did the servers respond to Mary and Jesus with such trust, especially since the servers had no idea who Jesus was? What were these servers saying to one another as they gathered one hundred and eighty gallons of water? What made the servers think that their actions would produce any result other than reprimand and disbelief from the headwaiter, and possibly public humiliation from the crowd?
Who were these people?
Jesus bid the servers to fill the jars with water. Not only did the servers listen to him, they “filled them to the brim.” The servers fully, utterly obeyed. This task must have taken a considerable amount of time, which means the servers had time to doubt, question, and even mock Jesus’ instructions, but there is no indication that they did so.
The servers were then directed to take the water to the headwaiter. Again, no hesitation, no reticence: “So they took it.”
Is this blind obedience? The servers had no reasonable assurance that their actions would work. They had no one to fall back on if the wrath of the headwaiter came their way. There was absolutely no reason for them to believe that they were participating in a divine miracle or cooperating with the Son of God.
But, they obeyed anyway.
And then, upon marveling at the trust and obedience the servers display, another question comes to mind.
Why did they go to Mary?
Scripture does not reveal the circumstances that immediately preceded Mary’s intervention with her Son. Nonetheless, the Scriptures are clear—the servers accessed Jesus through Mary. Not only were their obedience and trust rewarded, but the avenue through which the miracle occurred was also justified. That avenue was Mary.
If a Marian Consecration is going to Jesus through Mary, then the servers at Cana made the first Marian Consecration. In Totus Tuus, the book we are using for our Consecration, Fr. Brian McMaster explains that when we make a consecration, “we do not ‘consecrate ourselves,’ but rather open ourselves like Mary to the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are incorporated into Christ by means of faith and baptism, and the life of charity takes root within us . . . John Paul II used the word consecration and further developed its meaning by also using the word entrustment” (11).
The servers at Cana entrusted themselves to Mary, and through that entrustment, they were led directly to Jesus. They didn’t just receive an answer to their predicament, but rather were challenged to carry their trust over to Jesus, obey his instructions, and participate in a miracle.
What if in making my Marian Consecration, I assumed the disposition of the servers of Cana? What if I actually listened to her words (Do whatever he tells you) and allowed Jesus to work in my life? What kind of miracles might I be able to participate in?
To act on Jesus’ instructions to do the impossible, to participate in the ridiculous, to work in a way that seems to serve no purpose . . .
To fully, utterly obey Jesus, this man who the world claims I have no reason to believe in or expect anything from . . .
To do whatever he tells me without worrying about what others think, whether they get angry at me, reject me, or laugh at me . . .
To cooperate with the Son of God rather than resist Him . . .
Mother Mary, help me.
Jacqueline Hollcraft lives in central California with her husband and seven vibrant children. She is a lecturer in the English department at Stanislaus State, and she and her husband serve in their parish’s hospital ministry. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking (especially in Yosemite), craft beer, and murder mysteries.