On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.”
So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Weddings provide all of us who attend with a wonderful renewal of spirit and a new lease on life. Brides and grooms lift our spirits precisely because they recall for us the heart of any relationship—the mystery that God could love us so much as to send us one another as catalysts, companions, and lovers along this road of life. And God doesn’t just give us a few drops of love. Rather there is incredible abundance—about 120 gallons worth of abundance there at Cana, if you do the Biblical math correctly.
So here is the challenge: What do any of us do in the face of so much love and possibility? Do we turn away at this incredible largesse? “Oh, I’m certainly not worthy of any kind of gift like this!” Whether we say it or only think it, don’t we sometimes settle for so much less than God longs to give? And, if we allow this to happen, then the effectiveness of our lives can be compromised, our light can be dimmed, our leadership frittered away as we offer only a small-hearted response to God’s boundless, great-hearted love.
One further point: throughout our lives, doesn’t Jesus so often save the best wine until last? The truth is that God is never quite finished with us. Even after a long and successful run, even after we’ve come back from illness or personal tragedy or job loss or some other disappointment, God continues to offer the very best vintage. “My delight, my joy, my spouse, flesh of my flesh”—these are words God speaks about Israel in today’s first reading. They are words God also speaks about each of us as well. Let us find some space of quiet so say a fervent “thank you” to the Lord for all the grace and goodness that come our way each day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, sometimes we hear those whisperings that cast doubt on your extraordinary love for us. Perhaps we simply don’t feel worthy of your belief in us. Help us to move past such thinking so we can fulfill the bountiful life you call us to. And, Lord, we will remember that your Mother is our Mother, concerned about the details of our lives.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team