Vocation Meditation -
January 17, 2010
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding about a hundred litres. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it.
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now."
Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.
Jesus now enters the picture of his public life. It is interesting to note how John weaved an exhilarating picture of Jesus performing the first of His 'signs'.
Note what happened: It was at a wedding feast; Jesus was perfectly at home with his kinsfolk and friends; He was at ease celebrating the joys of family life during the wedding feast.
Note why it happened: Hospitality is always a sacred duty. For the wine to run out would be to bring sadness and embarrassment to the family. Jesus put forth his power to action, in sympathy, in kindness and in understanding for ordinary people who deserved His help.
Note where it happened: It happened in a humble home in a village in Galilee. Jesus brought God right into the home circle and into the ordinary things of life. God's glory was manifested within a home!
Mary's faith and her new role for the world were also revealed.
Mary turned to Jesus instinctively after discovering something went amiss around her. She knew her Son had the answer. She believed it was the moment to act for others. She became the true intercessor for God for all of our needs.
Mary trusted and went beyond the obvious and seeming refusal of her request. It would have blocked any fainthearted person. Not with Mary! She did not understand Jesus' words for the moment but her motherly sensitivity and faith hurdled the impossible. She was steadfast and led others to obey His Word. And their wine never ran out!
This first 'sign' of Jesus is not a story that He did once at the wedding feast in Palestine and never again. It is a revelation of something that Jesus is forever doing for the world, for everyone. The changing of the water into wine happens whenever Jesus and Mary come into a person's life! Faith blossoms. There enters in us a new quality of life, a transformation. Without Jesus, life is drab. Following Him, life is exhilarating! It is a feast of grace. The wine of inner joy never runs dry!
"You have kept the good wine until now!"
What 'good wine' have I kept 'til now that makes me confident in my vocation and truly happy?
Life can be empty, even though I am surrounded by friends and things and promises of success. Real joy comes from You. Make me see Jesus present in my daily needs. Like Mary, I want to see these needs transformed into the 'wine' of faith and hope, 'wine' that feeds my vocation to love You in others. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.