Last week, I was praying the Luminous Mysteries as I attempted to fall asleep. You would think that with a baby in the house, I’d be asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, but at this point I can usually get about four mysteries in before I start drifting off between Hail Marys…
… So here I was, lying in bed and thinking about the Wedding at Cana. We didn’t have this reading in our wedding, but I know quite a number of people who have reflected on this Gospel passage as they begin their married life. It’s a beautiful reminder of God’s intimate and personal care for married couples. Yet, as I imagined the scene playing out, something struck me in a way it never had before.
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and His disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you…
Jesus proceeds to fill the jars and turn water into wine. Enter the headwaiter, who was completely in the dark about the wine’s origin:
The headwaiter called the bridegroom and 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.”
We don’t hear the bridegroom’s response, but for the first time in my life I imagined him saying, “Wait… what?”
Nowhere in the passage does it indicate that the bride or the bridegroom have any clue about what has transpired. We’re not even sure they knew that their wine supplies were running low in the first place. Whenever we see a holy card of the Wedding at Cana, Jesus and Mary are pictured next to the newly-married couple, which would make it almost impossible for them to not notice what these two are up to; however, nothing in the Scripture indicates Jesus, His mother, or His disciples were anywhere near the bride and groom. All we know is that Mary noticed the couple needed some help, and she and Jesus did something about it.
I dwelt for many minutes, thinking about this miracle at Cana which has inspired so many couples, and coming to the realization that it was quite probable Jesus performed this miracle for these newlyweds and they completely missed it. When the headwaiter comes along, I see the bridegroom shrugging and saying, “Hmm… I must have forgotten about that extra 180 gallons of wine. Good thing it turned up!” Or maybe his new bride said, “Oh, dear– I forgot to tell you that Uncle Simon said he would bring some drinks. I didn’t realize he was going to be so generous!” And they rejoiced in the new-found wine and went back to the party.
Over the past week I’ve found myself pondering anew: how many times has God intervened directly in my life, without me having any clue? How has God provided for me? When things go “right” when they could have gone “wrong,” do I thank God in those moments?
I can’t imagine the bride and groom did anything wrong if they were grateful (and perhaps relieved!) the wine had turned up, without doing any more digging. Jesus and Mary were quite content, I’m sure, to know that the couple was provided for…
… and at the very least, those servers didn’t miss the fact that a great miracle had happened in their midst.