It is Lent as I write this, and although this Scripture passage is one that may not seem to fit with this time of year, it is one that has given me much insight into works and miracles, and how the Lord uses our meager efforts.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture to meditate on is the Wedding Feast at Cana. I can picture in my mind, happy faces, laughter, dancing, tables of food and of course, wine…Jesus was there, the Gospel tells us, and so was his mother. I imagine her looking around, quietly taking it all in, when she suddenly notices a group of servers discussing something, and instead of smiles, they have looks of concern. I see her stand, and without notice, go over to see what could possibly be putting a damper on this happy occasion. After discovering that there is no more wine, something that would embarrass the groom tremendously in those days, and ruin the wedding feast, her thoughts turn quickly to her Son.
She simply says to Him, “They have no more wine.” He knows full well what she is proposing to Him, but curiously, says “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” One word in his response speaks volumes to me…
“Woman”. The first woman, Eve, by her disobedience lost sanctifying grace for us, and God could have left us in that state. But instead, because his heart was moved with pity and great love, he created another woman, who was “full of grace”, and in her perfect obedience and fiat to His will, (completely contrary to the disobedience of the first woman) she would bring us the Savior. This one word, “woman”, spoken at the beginning of his ministry tells us who she is, “the woman clothed with the Sun”, and how she fits into God’s plan for all humanity. And so, she does intercede without the bridegroom even knowing. She acts with certainty too, knowing Jesus will take care of it.
“Do whatever He tells you.” She says to the servers.
Six stone water jars are there, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. “Fill the jars with water.” Jesus says. And they filled them to the brim. “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” And so, they took it. And the headwaiter, when he had tasted the water become wine, without knowing where it came from, said to the bridegroom, obviously impressed, “Most people serve the good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one. But you have kept the good wine until last.”
How does this Scripture speak to us now?
It tells us that Mary is our Mother, quietly watching out for us, interceding with her Son. She does it without us even knowing.
It tells us that she always points us to Jesus, “Do whatever He tells you.” She says to us. She always wants to bring us closer to her Son.
And what do the six stone water jars represent in our lives? Well, what vocation, work, mission, prayer need, apostolate, has Jesus given us to do?
“Fill the jars…” He said to the servers. And so, must we, do all we can do, filling our jars to the brim. When we have put our all into it, whatever it is, then we can offer it to Jesus as a gift. He is touched by our little or great efforts done for love of Him.
Jesus’ first miracle was quietly done, and mostly unseen except for a few. What quiet, unseen, miracle is He working in you? Or doing for your loved one? Or applying to some work you have endeavored? Do we simply trust, like Mary, that He will do it?
“Draw some out now…” When it is the right time, Jesus will show something of this work, this miracle, He has done with your meager efforts, and given to Him with love.
Then you may taste and see the fruit of His work. That is the good wine.