In today’s Gospel, Jesus and Mary attended a wedding in Cana. When Mary heard the party was running out of wine, she turned to Jesus for help because she believed in him and trusted in his kindness. Jesus tells his mother, “my hour has not yet come,” but ultimately saves the wedding from disaster. Here, Jesus performed his first miracle when he took six stone jars and transformed its water into a better wine than what was previously served by the bridegroom. (It was said that each of the jars could hold 20 to 30 gallons of wine. Now that is my kind of party!)
Today’s gospel is rich in symbolism and tells me a number of things, but I will only name a few. First, that he really respects his mother and her request by going above and beyond. Another, is that we must also believe in Jesus. By the fact that he created such a large volume of a more quality wine tells us that something even more remarkable is in store for us. And, finally, by Jesus being at a wedding, he has put his very own stamp of approval on the covenant of marriage.
In the Old and New Testament worlds, weddings were happy, festive occasions just as they are today. My husband, Randy, and I were married at St. Mary this past year and can certainly attest to that. Today, we can avoid the Cana wedding disaster by hiring a caterer or finding a trusted venue. There can be a lot of preparation to assure your wedding day will be a joyous one, but what we found to be most important and rewarding were the marriage preparation programs offered by St. Mary. We met multiple times with our sponsor couple, Ron and Jan Kriener of St. Mary, and participated in a Pre-Cana course where we met with other couples preparing to get married. Through a combination of exercises, discussion questions, good advice and a focus on marital spirituality, St. Mary helped us to communicate together more openly and effectively in our marriage.
Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love with our spouse can fall by the wayside. Because we are hardly out of our honeymoon, we are in no position to give marital advice. However, something we were told in our marriage preparation is that daily prayer is the single most important way to make sure we are open to God’s grace and guidance. We may ask ourselves, “Is God with us in our marriage?” Sometimes the answer is obvious, other times it is not. The Church assures us, however, that God is an active participant in the marriage and through God’s grace the married couple actually models God’s unconditional and unfailing love for all people.