Every wedding ceremony has its peculiar story. There are beautiful ones, and there are humiliating ones like where a bride refused to accept a kiss from the bridegroom. Some are weird, like the viral nudist wedding where the couple and the train appeared unclad at the location. There are others that are just normal without much drama. Couples take the time to prepare extensively for their weddings to make a harvest of good memories that would last for a lifetime, but sometimes the unexpected happens as we would see in this reflection.
The Gospel Reading today (John 2:1-11) tells us about a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Mother Mary was there, and Jesus Christ with his disciples was also a guest. As the ceremony progresses, the wedding feast ran out of wine and Mary approached Jesus his son to complain that they have no wine. Answering, Jesus says to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come”. Turning to the servers, Mary says to them “Do whatever he tells you.”
When Mary left, Jesus asked the servers to fill some six stone jars at the location with water reaching to the brim. Then he asked them to draw some out and take to the headwaiter. The headwaiter tested the water which had become wine and not knowing where it came, confronts the bridegroom for keeping the best wine for the last.
The Gospel narratives conclude with an end note that tells us that the miracle of changing water into wine was the first miracle Jesus Christ performed. He revealed his glory and his disciples began to believe in him.
An Invitation to Jesus Christ
The Gospel account tells us that Mary, the mother of Jesus was at the wedding feast and Jesus was also invited with his disciples. A significant aspect of every wedding preparation is the need to send out invitations to prospective guests, and every wedding feast would be as worthwhile as the people who are invited.
The book of Revelation (3:20) presents a picture of Christ knocking at a door and waiting for the house owner to let him in to dine with the household. When we make God the special guest in the events in our lives, He would, in turn, become the special host who would provide for us in times of need. In the book of Genesis (18:1ff), Abraham invited God to his house and God, in turn, blessed him with the fulfillment of the promise of a son.
They have no Wine!
These were the exact words of Mary to her Son Jesus Christ when the wine at the wedding feast ran out. Mary comes to Jesus at a very critical point. A wedding feast without wine is a disaster. A typical Jewish wedding would last for about five to six days, and they are not fasting days as food and drink would flow through the entire period. When the Gospel said on the third day, we may think of it as the third day of the wedding ceremony, and that would mean at the middle of the entire wedding event.
Mother Mary was concerned about the impending shame that would fall on the newlywed, and she goes to the son for immediate rescue. Mary’s request to her son shows her in-depth knowledge of her son and his mission on earth. Furthermore, it is a profound expression of her faith in the son’s ability to take care of needs.
In life, we sometimes run out of wine when we see darkness instead of light when life gives us several reasons to give up because of the challenges around us. We run out wine when things seem to be falling apart starting from our families to other areas of our lives. When we run out of wine may we remember that through Mary to Jesus Christ we can have a remedy beyond the normal
Faith Through the Revelation of His Glory
At the heart of the miracle of changing water into wine, our Lord Jesus Christ manifested his glory to his disciples who witnessed the sign. We could say that the miracle at Cana in Galilee is the culmination of a series of manifestations (epiphanies). Happening at the beginning of his ministry, it was very fitting that his closest disciples witness this manifestation for the strengthening of their faith.
More than two thousand years after the miracle at Cana in Galilee, we do not need another changing of water into wine to build and sustain our faith in the salvific power of our Lord Jesus Christ especially when we run out of wine in our lives.
The greatest gift from God to us is Jesus Christ the Emmanuel (God-with-us). God’s presence in our lives like the presence of Jesus Christ at the wedding feast is the greatest miracle in our lives. With our Lord Jesus Christ as the ultimate guest in our lives, the prophecy of Isaiah in the First Reading (Isaiah 62:1-5) comes to fulfillment as nations will behold our vindication and we shall have a new name as the new wine at the wedding feast.
As we make progress in the New Year, let us keep our attention on Jesus Christ who has the solution to every lack in our lives, and like his mother, Mary recommended to the servers, may we be ready to obey his words. I wish you a beautiful week ahead and may God bless you always.