The next day there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, that’s not our problem,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
Dear God, I understand why Mr. Veronese put Jesus in the middle of the image, but I’d have much rather he placed him off to the side somewhere. Maybe a little more inconspicuous. I’m guessing the bride and groom are the ones on the far left, with the bride wearing a white gown. Maybe the mater of ceremonies is the man in the ornate white outfit standing behind the man pouring out the water jar int a wine container. I think he’s holding a glass. Frankly, there’s a ton to see here. I just looked up an article analyzing the painting and it was quite extensive. I don’t think I’ll spend too much time doing that here.
As a Baptist who has lived and worshipped with Catholics closely for 12 years, I now know that this is one of the stories they use to justify Mary’s influence over you, even to this day. Jesus didn’t want to, telling her it wasn’t there problem, but Mary ignored him and assumed he would listen to her anyway. I’ve always wondered if this was actually the right thing for her to do. Was Mary wrong to have pushed him like this?
I wonder what she expected of Jesus going forward. She knew he was in the new phase of his life. I’m sure she had seen him do miracles over the years. Almost like being Superman’s mom, knowing his secret. Was it time to let the secret out? Was it time to release Jesus on the world? Will the predictions of her Magnificat come true?
The truth is, she had zero idea how this was going to turn out. She, along with the entire Jewish people/nation, had a paradigm of freedom and victory. You were going to bring down princes from their thrones. You were going to humble the exalted. You would send the rich away empty, but you would fill the hungry. You would fulfill your promises. It just didn’t look like she thought it would look.
Now, I sit here some days and I try to parse out what I have been taught you will do in the world vs. what the evidence shows you will do in the world. In a macro look at history, we are in such a small part of the timeline right now, and, frankly, even though the Christians in country tends to have placed itself in the role as your chosen people, we are not Israel. We are only one more power on the earth that rose, and will, at some point, decline. Perhaps the decline has started already. I don’t know. All I know is that it is so easy to see the United States as so central to your plans when my only perspective is that of about 5% of the world who lives here–from within the country–but we need to remember that there are more Christians who live outside of the United States than in it. Maybe your people are no longer defined by an organized government. Maybe we are just supposed to be a society that lives and moves without caring about national borders.
Father, this has been a lot of talk to simply say that I don’t know. I don’t know what you are doing in the grand scheme of things. I don’t even know what you are doing in my tiny life. You have me on a need-to-know basis, and I don’t really need to know much. In fact, the less I know the less I’ll mess things up. So help me to be obedient to you today. Help me to do exactly what you want me to do tomorrow. Be glorified in my life and be my God.
I pray all of this in your holy Name,