In any culture, we all know the excitement of a wedding celebration because it is one of the privileged times which brings the family, friends and the community together. It is not just a significant social event but a celebration of the gift of faith shared in the Sacrament of Matrimony with the community as a feast.
Our church teaches us that marriage between a man and a woman is a covenant, in the same way Israel had made a covenant with the Lord, between Jesus, the groom and the Church as his Bride.
In this Sunday’s gospel, a relationship between Jesus and his church as the bride (the community) was established, initiated by Mary, his mother. Jesus and his beloved disciples were invited to a wedding feast in Cana. As the feast progressed with singing, dancing and drinking, all the wine provided for the celebration had been served. Wine in the Jewish culture is very important. It symbolizes happiness, joy, the presence of abundance and the future, promises fulfilled.
And at this wedding feast they have run out of wine! The time has come for the promises to be filled. The time for new wine, new spirit and new life has come. Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew the needs of the community. She made known to her son what was needed. She quickly told her son Jesus “They have no wine.” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”
However, Mary, with her deep faith in her Son had said to the servants to “Do whatever He tells you.” Then the first miraculous sign Jesus performed began at this feast upon the request of Mary. The changing of water to wine, the sign, was a way to bring fullness to life, to fill those jars with water. It is the mother of Jesus who initiated the fulfillment of the promises and bring forth hope and trust that holds people together.
So it was. And so it is still. Let us continue to put our trust in Jesus like Mary did. When families run out of “wine” because of circumstances due to illness, unemployment and other difficulties (Pope Francis), let us never lose hope but rather trust Jesus to work marvels in our lives and turn the tears of sadness into a wine of gladness and love.
So it was, and so it is still today.
Fr. Gleen Carpe