Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. – John 4:46
I love the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana. It resonates with me on many levels. it’s a beautiful exchange between mother and son, where Mary, the Blessed One, looks to the Chosen One, her son and Savior, to help the wedding hosts who have –quite embarrassingly–run out of wine. So Jesus intervenes, turns water into wine and effectively saves the day. This is Jesus’ first miraculous act in public ministry, and yet only John records it. Why?
I’m not sure. What I do know from experience is that weddings are private events. They are celebrated with only those closest to us either by blood or by friendship. It seems reasonable that since John is the “beloved disciple” –and the one to whom Jesus later charges with the care of his Mother at the time of his death– that more than the other disciples, he would have likely also been close to the friends or relatives of Jesus’ mother, (who many scripture scholars speculate this wedding couple to be), and therefore would have been one of the few, or perhaps the only disciple of Jesus, to have witnessed this miracle.
Regardless, I’m particularly grateful for it, because the above quoted line from scripture harkened back to that miracle for me today. And in this mid-point of Lent, it reminded me that as I feel the weight of the Lenten season upon me now, Jesus is not done with me yet! Like the turning of water into wine, a transformation has to occur. And though we can read about the many public miracles of healing Jesus performs during his ministry, like the water into wine, the miraculous transformations he performs in each of us are private, deeply intimate, and personal to us. They are transformations we need, in order to become the holy people God wants us to be. And while the outcome is really nothing short of miraculous, the process for us is usually less of an instant “water into wine” transformational event, and more like grapes fermenting into wine through a slow and difficult process.
But the outcome– the “new life” that we become as a result of it– is still nothing short of miraculous.
I’m reminded today that just as Jesus returned to Cana in today’s reading, he is eager to return to you and I in this Lenten season and do more transformational work. The question is, are we willing to let him? Just as she did in Cana, we can certainly ask for our Blessed Mother to intercede on our behalf to help us!
Here’s a bonus link for you today that dovetails nicely, I think, with today’s message. I’m grateful to have stumbled across this song last week and have been prayerfully singing it ever since: New Wine by Hillsong
Reflect: What are some ways you’ve seen yourself change in the past several months? Are you more joyful, more positive? Or are you growing discouraged, tired, and distraught? Whether you answer yes to the first question or the latter, take a moment today to see one positive change in your life over the last few months and really thank God for it! Give him total credit for making that happen in your life and then reflect a little on how, like the vessels at the wedding feast at Cana, God may have chosen to use you to make that happen, or like John, he may have chosen you–and perhaps ONLY you–to witness it!
Pray: Lord Jesus, thank you for always wanting to make me a better person! While I sometimes find the process difficult, and I don’t always participate willingly into your plan, I trust you to lead me only to what is good for me. I surrender my will to yours and ask you to create in me all you desire me to be, so that I can become more like you. Amen.