If I do what I know – Saturday,Weekday in Christmas time – John 2:1-11
Christmas time has a surprise for us in this cycle of liturgical readings. We find ourselves listening to the first ‘sign’ that Jesus performed in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John does not have ‘miracles’ but rather speaks of signs. A sign points to a greater reality. A red signal indicates that if I do not stop there is a possibility of a dangerous accident. There is no danger in the signal light but it points to the consequences of my breaking the light.
In the Gospel of St John, what seems like a miracle narrative is but a setting for us to look for the greater reality. In the narrative of the wedding at Cana, the wedding feast and the turning of water into wine is but a background, a setting if you may, for the reality we are to look for.
The narrative of the wedding in Cana is found only in the Gospel of John. This is the first of the signs that Jesus performs and while it is used widely at wedding liturgies the theological significance focuses our attention to Jesus who is the bridegroom. The image of the bridegroom, used by Jesus himself in his parables was an image of the Messiah to come. Jesus, The Messiah is the bridegroom. Jesus is the bridegroom, the best wine that is served last as a fulfillment of God’s prophecies to send his only son.
Today, I would like to take on a few reflections based on this ever so popular narrative. Reflections that could help you pray and interiorize this text for your own spiritual life.
Life throws us all a curve ball from time to time. We find ourselves down and out or between a rock and hard place. Tough decisions have to be made with limited resource, a retirement plan has been interrupted by an incurable illness or hard work has been met with no success because the recession kicked in. The list is endless. In moments like this we may not know what to do but it would be a pity if we do not know whom to go to.
When Jesus’ mother realized the couple had no wine and realizing what an embarrassing situation this would be for the couple she decided to act. She may have not known what to do but she certainly knew who to go to. She went to her son, Jesus. She could have gone to the wedding planner or the caterer but chose the best problem solver. Who do I go when I find my back against the wall?
Perhaps we do go to Jesus. Life has taught some of us this even though we have made him our spare tire rather than our steering wheel. We know Jesus never fails. But oddly when we do go to him, we tend to give him our manual of instructions as to how we would like our problem solved.
When Mary went to Jesus, she did not tell him the solution she had in mind, she simply told him the need. She does have a word of advice for us and the stewards, (now)” do whatever he asks you.
Let us understand clearly that we are not ‘God’s administrative assistants’ and God does not need our administrative advice. It is not for us to ‘assist’ him to fix the issues that we face; that is best left at his feet and he works for us according to our need and situation.
Some years ago, I met a lady who made a deep impact on me. She told me how she handles challenges and struggles. Reminding me of how privileged I am to hold the precious body and blood in my hands she shared her secret of overcoming challenges. She told me that when the priest reposes the sacred body of our Lord in the tabernacle after communion at Mass, from the pew, she slips in her own struggles and challenges and ‘locks’ her problems in the tabernacle with the Lord as the priest turns the key of the tabernacle. Then it is his business to solve; Jesus and her problems are locked together
So, what do I do in tough situations? Do what you know from your faith experience of the past; go to Jesus.
If you like, you could click on this link to read a bit about Cana in Galilee ( helpful even more if you are planning a trip to the Holy Land) https://www.pottypadre.com/can-a-wedding-have-no-wine/