January 7, 2023
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 did this miracle as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
“They have no wine.”
With those words, Mary speaks a truth about our lives, a truth that at some point we all experience. There comes a day when the wine gives out. The glass is empty. The party is over. On that day, life seems empty and dry. There is no vibrancy or vitality. Nothing is growing or fermenting within us. Our world is colorless and tasteless. The bouquet of life is absent and we are living less than fully alive.
Mary’s words hold before us some serious questions and wonderings. Where has the wine of our life given out? What relationships have run dry? What parts of us remain empty?
Each one of us could tell a story about the day the wine gave out. It might be about the death of a loved one or the loss of a friendship or marriage. Some will describe their thirst for meaning and significance. Others will tell of their guilt, disappointments, or regrets. Many of the stories will be about fear of what is or what might be. The storyline of unanswered prayer, doubts, or questions is known by most. They are not all stories from the past, however. Some of us are living those stories today.
Despite our best efforts, good intentions, and hard work, however, it seems that the wine of our life is always giving out. No matter how often we refill it our glass remains empty. There is never enough wine. We cannot replenish the wine from our own resources.
This is not about the wine but about the people. It is a statement about the human condition. It is about our inner life, our way of being, more than the circumstances outside us.
Too often we live with the illusion of our own self-sufficiency. That illusion is shattered on the day the wine runs out and the jars of our life stand empty and dry.
But regardless of how it feels or what we think about it, the day the wine runs out is the beginning of a miracle. Christ does not simply refill our glasses. He transforms our lives, turning water into wine. It is, after all, the third day, the day of resurrection and new life. That which was colorless is now vibrant red. That which had no taste now tingles the tongue. That which had no fragrance now has a full bouquet. That which had no life is now fermenting, active, and alive.
Every time that good wine is poured our lives is changed and transformed. We are brought “out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.”
“They have no wine,” Mary said.
But the miracle always begins when the wine gives out.
Can we recall moments in our lives when we complained that the wine had run out? Moments when we were so depressed and lonely, thinking that God has abandoned us?
Can we recall how we were able to come out of it? How, all along, God was there to help us and without us knowing it as well, that the Blessed Mother was there to tell Her Son that we needed help?
Fr. Cesar C Vergara