THE “PROTECTION” OF THE THEOTOKOS
(Saturday, October 14)
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine…’” (Jn 2:1-3)
Today is the Older-Calendar feast of the “Protection” of the Mother of God, when we celebrate her continuous intercessions for us. So, I’m thinking about the only passage in Scripture, in which we see her interceding for people. It happens when wine runs out at a wedding banquet, of all things. Perhaps she interceded for people in lots of other cases, but this is the only case mentioned in the Gospel(s).
As *trivial* an intercession this may seem at first glance, we should recognize that in Scripture, “wedding banquet,” “mother” and “wine” are terms that signify central aspects of the mystery of the Church. So, there are several levels of meaning to be discerned, in what the Mother of God did at the Wedding in Cana. Yes, she saved her friends from embarrassment, who hosted this wedding but did not have quite enough money or foresight to provide very good or enough wine for all their guests.
Beyond this, the Mother of God demonstrates what the Mother-Church does for us, by providing us, by her prayers, with the “wine” that signifies the joy of communion with the risen Lord and one another. The Church does this, despite any shortcomings of the “hosts” of our church-“wedding banquets.” Note also that the wedding banquet in Cana takes place “on the third day,” which simply means Tuesday (when weddings are often celebrated in Jewish tradition), but also signifies in this context the communion we are offered in Him, Who is risen “on the third day.” By the prayers of the Theotokos, Savior, save us and keep us in the joy of Your communion, and help us to pray for one another, despite our shortcomings.