Second Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year C
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone jars standing there, meant for the ablutions which are customary among the Jews; each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said, ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him.
Mary asked Jesus to save their hosts from the embarrassment of running out of wine. This was not a matter of life or death, although such embarrassment would have marred the wedding for the couple and their families.
The incident is a testimony to Mary’s empathy with others and her power to intercede with Jesus. While the miracle had effects on many levels, such as strengthening the disciples’ belief in Jesus, it is a timeless reminder that the Mother of Jesus is aware of the details of human life, and that she has the desire and the power to intercede with Jesus in even quite small matters. This is already well understood by those for whom Mary the Mother of Jesus is an integral part of their spiritual lives.
For those who see Mary as significant in the life of Jesus but somewhat peripheral to their own spiritual life, the wedding at Cana is a scriptural statement about the relationship between Mother and Son which needs reflection. Jesus is central in that he performs the miracle of changing the water into wine; Mary is central because she leads him to take this action.
There are times when Jesus may seem rather distant and many things may weigh us down, affecting our mood and relationships. Mary is always available and always “tuned in” to whatever our human experience is, always ready to intercede with her Son.
The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God was celebrated by the Church on New Year’s Day, which is also designated as the World Day of Peace. The Mother of God who was instrumental in saving a young couple from embarrassment at Cana is also the one who experienced the terrible pain of seeing her Son killed. She is a natural intercessor in the un-peaceful aspects of our relationships and in the bigger issues of peace in our world. With her aid this can be a year when we take the only true road to peace in our own lives, in prayer and in action, and pray unceasingly for an end to the conflicts and oppression which are driving so many people from their homelands.