The Marriage Feast at Cana
Today’s Gospel story is one familiar to us all. We have heard it used at weddings and wedding anniversaries, but sometimes familiarity blinds us to the actual message the story is trying to give.
I find it stops me in my tracks when reading a passage from Scripture I see something I hadn’t been aware of before.
Don’t worry that I will launch into a “ Paul falling off a horse”story……nothing as revelatory as that! As I sat with this gospel today trying to decide which angle I might come from, I suddenly became aware of how central Mary, the Mother of God is here. Of course I remembered that it was Mary who realised that the wine was finished and drew Jesus’ attention to the fact, but somehow that part of the story sort of passed me by!
The fact that Jesus changed the water into wine was the main point for me and everything else fitted around it.
But today as I’ve moved on in age, whatever about wisdom! I see so much else. It seems that Mary was the important guest – Jesus and His disciples were only of her party. Mary noticed the lack of wine and was worried about the family hosting this marriage feast. She knew Jesus and this enabled her to let him know the situation.
His response was surprising but Mary knew Him so well that she slipped quietly away but not before telling the servants to “Do whatever he tells you”
Glance at the icon above and observe the body language between Mary and Jesus. It is not usual that Mary would be mentioned before her son in any story but this story wants to show us the ”power” of Mary. She never upstages Jesus as she knows who he is but she has a part to play. She is rightly called Mediatrix as she did and still does bring the plight of the people to Jesus.
The hosts may not have noticed that the wine was running out but Mary did and she knew help was at hand.
Jesus may not have realised his time had come but Mary did and he paid heed to his mother.
We know this was the first of the signs given by Jesus and he let his glory be seen to reassure his disciples.
Let us pray
Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen
Patricia O’Reilly OP