We are working with our pastor, Fr. Terry Keehan, exploring why people marry and why they stay married. One of the tasks we set for ourselves is to each write a short reflection on the Gospel story of the wedding feast at Cana. Last week we posted Rita’s reflection. This week we post Bob’s. We hope that you will find them enlightening and uplifting.
On the third day there was a wedding* in Cana* in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.a 2Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.3When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4* [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”b 5His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”c 6* Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,d each holding twenty to thirty gallons. 7Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim.8Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”* So they took it. 9And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom10and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”11Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs* in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.e
To start my reflection I want to point out that this is a situation in which Jesus was not the serious teacher that we see most of the time in the bible. If we just focus on the miracle, we lose something else that I think is important about Jesus. Here we find him, with his disciples, at a PARTY. Think about it, Jesus went to parties! Can we imagine that he came to the feast to teach and impart great pearls of wisdom? I have to believe that he came to party, to enjoy being with his friends and enjoy some wine – a rare opportunity to see Him as human. The Gospel writers had other things on their minds, but the discussion in the early Church about his humanity led to some serious heresies, which were settled in the teaching that He was fully human, as well as fully God. We know from scripture that he was a charismatic figure, which I suspect has a lot to do with His humanity. One other place where we can infer Jesus’ humanity is in the story where he chides his disciples and says: “Let the children come to me.” That story always brings back memories of my uncle, who was a priest, playing games with my siblings and me as we were growing up. I can imagine Jesus teasing and laughing with the children as my uncle did. Perhaps it would be easier to develop a strong relationship with Jesus, if we became more aware of His human side.
Even the miracle may be, in part, a manifestation of his humanity. He certainly showed respect for the commandment to honor one’s parent in responding to Mary. He must have been concerned about the shame for the bride and groom at running out of wine. But I think there was another reason – he saw the wedding as an important event in the lives of the bride and groom as well as for the community and that it deserved/required a celebration. He wanted the celebration to continue unabated and fulfill the customs of the time. It occurs to me to wonder whether Jesus drank some of the wine from those jars? See what happens when you start to allow yourself to think of Jesus as human, as well as divine! For me it is a source of joy!
Jesus preached constantly about loving others and must have known that special kind of love between a husband and wife that leads to their becoming one in heart and mind, body and spirit. He had to be aware that loving couples are a sign to each other of His love for them and their couple love as a sign of His love in the community. It can encourage all married couples to love each other in our human way, with joy, caring and sometimes a party, and know that Jesus is there to party with us.
We hope you will find encouragement in this reading. for your marriage and all marriages. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.