The Most Powerful Woman

Who, in your perception, is the most powerful woman of our times? Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Obama, Susan Rice? Some world leader or newsmaking superstar of the silver screen?

Their power is fleeting, it is corruptible. There is only one woman with power who holds our very souls in her hands and it is Mary, the Mother of God.

In considering the Gospel about the wedding feast of Cana, I once again stumbled with a single question. Why did Jesus address His Mother – who gave Him flesh and bone and whose blood supported His unborn body – as “woman”? I don’t get it, it makes no sense to me. For you scholars out there, is there some cultural nuance these mere words cannot capture?

But then, consider this. Why did she mention the lack of wine to her Son in the first place? Why did she think He could solve this problem? Or better yet, how did she know He could fix the situation? It’s not as if He went around the house performing miracles while growing up. Yet, she had no doubt, after what we nowadays would consider a put-down, that He would indeed fix things. She went to the waiters and told them to do what He commanded. She knew.

There is nothing recorded between finding Jesus in the temple at age 12 to His baptism. Was Mary nearby at the baptism by John the Baptist? Did she hear the words of God, “This is My beloved Son,” and ponder them in her heart as so many other things she kept hidden in her soul?

Was it revealed to her to speak to her Son at this wedding, to signal the beginning of His public ministry? The children of Fatima spoke of being pierced by God when they received Communion from the angel before the 1917 apparitions. Was the Annunciation the time of her soul absorbing the revelation and guiding presence of God within her?

If so, no wonder she pondered. And Jesus, the Son of God made man, fulfilled the need she revealed to Him. Does this not make her the most powerful woman in both heaven and on earth for all time? Is it not to her we need to turn in this vale of tears, begging for our needs, for mercy?

Why are you not on your knees yet, saying a Hail Mary?

Editor’s note:

A seminary professor with expertise in Scripture let us know that use of the word “woman” in Hebrew/Aramaic, in this context is a term of endearment.

This article, The Most Powerful Woman is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

Cindy Paslawski

CINDY PASLAWSKI earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota, back when truth and accuracy were prized. She has been active with the Wanderer Forum Foundation almost since its inception, while working as a reporter for The Wanderer newspaper. She has also worked on the front lines as a church secretary and most recently as a freelance book editor. As the Wanderer Forum Foundation/Bellarmine Forum's executive secretary and publication editor since 1995, she has overseen production of the Forum Focus and the Bellarmine Forum magazines, coordinated Regional and National Wanderer Forums, and saw to the publication of both Saving Christian Marriage (2007) and Slaying the “Spiritˮ of Vatican II With the Light of Truth (2017). She and her patient husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.

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