Chapter 2: Topical Index
Justin is right that this should not be a focus on the study of the Gospel of John but I wanted to offer a bit of an explanation for the Catholic view of Mary at Cana.
JeffLogan said -
Could it be that your understanding is prejudiced by religiosity branded by a particular denomination? Are you open to any other understandings?
Perhaps the word prejudice is a bit to harsh here until you know what is meant by the role Mary played and to explain that I would point to a similar occurrence in Mark 6
Mar 6:1-6 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Here we see that even though Jesus is God he did not do many mighty deeds in this place, not because He couldn't but because there was no faith there to act upon.
JeffLogan said -
Perhaps we can call Mary a type of catalyst. But certainly she was not "the essentian instrument" (sic). Christ could, and did, perform the miracle without any dependence upon his mother.
God wants us to have faith and at Cana Jesus ministry had not begun so there were none there who had faith in Him yet - except for His mother. So yes she was a catalyst (a term I really like if you understand how one really works) because a catalyst is essential in the reactions for which it is involved and yet it does not participate in those reactions, coming out the same as it went into them. So yes in that way Mary was essential, just as our faith is essential.
The old Jesuit acronym comes to mind AMDG - Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam - meaning "To the greater glory of God"