The wedding feast is above all an image of the Church, with Christ at the center, performing a miracle out of his mercy. He is surrounded by his disciples, and beside them all is Mary, "the provident and prayerful Mother."
"Mary partakes of the joy of ordinary people and helps it to increase; she intercedes with her Son on behalf of the spouses and all the invited guests. Nor does Jesus refuse the request of his Mother," the Pope noted.
He said the event serves as a sign of hope for everyone, because "we have a Mother with benevolent and watchful eyes, like her Son."
Mary, he said, has "a heart that is maternal and full of mercy, like him; hands that want to help, like the hands of Jesus who broke bread for those who were hungry, touched the sick and healed them."
"In Mary's concern we see reflected the tenderness of God," the Pope said, noting that this tenderness is also present in the lives of all those who care for the sick and are attentive to their needs, "even the most imperceptible ones, because they look upon them with eyes full of love."
When this love is animated by faith, it inspires us ask God for "something greater than physical health" for those who are sick: "we ask for peace, a serenity in life that comes from the heart and is God's gift, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, a gift which the Father never denies to those who ask him for it with trust."
Francis urged the faithful to ask Mary to intercede in helping them to have her same readiness to serve those in need, particularly those who are ill.
"We too can be hands, arms and hearts which help God to perform his miracles, so often hidden," he said, explaining that while the experience of suffering "will always remain a mystery, Jesus helps us to reveal its meaning."
Pope Francis also expressed his hope that the celebrations in the Holy Land would be an occasion for increased dialogue among Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, who often bicker over rights and access to the holy sites in the area.
He closed his message by praying that all who are sick and suffering would draw inspiration from Mary, entrusting to her their trials as well as their joys.
"Let us beg her to turn her eyes of mercy towards us, especially in times of pain, and make us worthy of beholding, today and always, the merciful face of her Son Jesus!"
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Elise Harris was senior Rome correspondent for CNA from 2012 to 2018.