Christmas Weekday – Before the Epiphany – Jn 2:1-11
Today’s Gospel speaks to us of the wedding feast in Cana. It has a number of details that are very important, and that can teach us a great deal about what we need to do to become saints. So, let’s consider three of these details, three elements: first, the water Jesus uses for the miracle, second, the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and, third, those strange words of Jesus. So the water, Our Blessed Mother, and Jesus’ words.
The first detail that calls our attention is the water. John is very specific in his description of the water and the containers that it is in. “Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons.” “For Jewish ceremonial washings”: in other words, these jars were there because the Jews had to wash their hands before eating in order to be purified. The jars were made of stone because, according to the Jewish law, stone didn’t catch the contamination.
We can pause a moment here to reflect: in other words, what John is telling us it that those jars had water that was for cleaning, for washing up. It wasn’t drinkable water; in fact, on the contrary, it contained dirty water, with all the dirt, sweat, grime, nasty smells . . . everything, from their hands. Imagine what that water must’ve been like! But, it’s with this water that Jesus worked His miracle.
So, what does this have to do with us? It’s important that we try to take advantage of all the many graces that God wants to give us. Sometimes we might think that we can’t do anything more, that God won’t help us or forgive us. . . . but look at what He did with that dirty water. He transformed it. He took the nastiest, dirtest thing in that house, and transformed it into the best of that house. He can do the same with our lives, with our families, and with our miseries and sorrows. He can take the worst parts of our lives, and transform them. This doesn’t mean that we just sit back and do nothing. In this miracle, Jesus, the Creator of the World, could’ve made wine out of nothing. He could’ve created wine without saying anything to anyone, without asking the servers to fill the jars . . . but He didn’t. He asked them to help; He asked for the help of those who really had much more need of His help than He did of theirs. This is the way He wants to help us as well.
However, sometimes it’s hard for us to ask for help. Sometimes we don’t even know what we need. Now we come to our second point, the role of the Virgin Mary. See how it is the Blessed Mother who realizes that there is no more wine. “When the wine ran short,” says John, “the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’” Not even the servers, not even the one in charge of the feast, realized what had happened. Sometimes this happens to us as well. Mary knows our needs even before we bring them to her, and she helps us to obtain what we need. This is why it is so important to be devoted to Our Blessed Mother, and to really have a sincere devotion.
However, in all of this, we must also bear in mind God’s timing, meaning, that the things we ask for or need, don’t always happen immediately, or when we think they should or want them to. Jesus gives a response to His mother that seems really strong: “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” There’s two things we should keep in mind here: first, the word “woman” doesn’t sound as strong in Greek as it does in English. In fact, Jesus uses the word several times in the Gospels as a formal and respectful greeting. He also uses it on Calvary when, just before dying, He entrusts His mother to Saint John. Secondly, the “hour” of Jesus always refers to His passion and death. “My hour has not yet come”: at this point, Jesus has not yet performed a miracle in public. He was simply a teacher, one teacher among many, with His disciples. With a miracle, all of this will change, and He will begin to walk down the road to Calvary. The miracle of the wine at the wedding is nothing compared with the salvation that Christ brought to the world with His death on the cross. In that moment as well, Jesus called His mother “woman,” a title of honor for her, as she became the mother of all believers. All that would happen in the future, Mary didn’t know. What Jesus was going to do in that moment, She didn’t know either. However, she was certain that Jesus would provide a solution; the how and the when, she didn’t know. However, full of faith, she tells the servants “Do whatever He tells you.”
The same has to happen with us. We know that life in this world, with all its problems and difficulties, isn’t easy. What will happen tomorrow, nobody knows. However, we do know that we can trust in Jesus and Mary, that Jesus will provide a solution, and Mary will help us, provided that we do all that Christ tells us.
So then, today, let us take a look at our lives: do we really trust in the power of Jesus? Do we really trust that great things can be done in spite of our miseries? Do we trust in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Do we trust in God’s providence, that He will protect and care for us?
Through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, the Mother of God and our Mother as well, let us ask for the grace to trust in Jesus, and to always do everything He tells us.