Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan
The Good Wine
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 twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “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.
In our times, when the marriage and family are the subjects of a whole social diatribe, it is good to revisit the wedding scene of Cana. The setting of a peasant feast, the humble and intimate atmosphere of the wedding celebration, the presence of special guests, Mary and Jesus, make this passage of the Gospel an authentic icon of family, marriage, a man-woman-society relationship. It talks about the family institution, which is the foundation stone and the essential element of the social life.
The wedding of Cana, in Galilee, represents human marriages with their joys, their suffering and their hopes.
Cana is the place to live because there is the good wine of relationship, respect, dialogue, understanding, mutual trust. It is a place where the presence of God is guaranteed, for He is the one who gives the good wine which rejoices the heart of men. It is His presence that brings to the marriage of Cana the taste for the Covenant and the fragrance of novelty. Jesus and Mary, who act as intercessors, bring good wine to the wedding feast, new wine in new wineskins (cf. Matthew 9:14-17). Indeed, their significant presence gives the party a whole new meaning, opens to hope and dismantles the grief of a wretched fiasco.
Cana is a meeting place, meeting the couple, meeting the guests, meeting God and the world. It is a place of relations, for no family should be closed in on itself. It is the specificity of the family to create relationships, to be open to those around them, to become a meeting place and exchange. If the family is unhealthy, it comes from its closure; if the family suffers, it comes from a lack of relations, which vivifies the intimate relationship of the spouses. The family becomes sick when it counts on having and very little on being!
By changing water into wine and good wine, Jesus shows us how it is necessary for our families to enter in the process of conversion, in a dynamic of change. The water, which represents our dull, sometimes limited humanity, must be transformed into good wine by the active presence of Jesus Christ and the intercession of Virgin Mary and then it will pour forth for the joy of the guests.
The spouses had invited Mary and Jesus as favorite guests. Without a wedding celebrated in the presence of Jesus and Mary and then lived in their company, the beautiful human love will lose its joy of life, lack fidelity and lose itself. Without the presence of Jesus and Mary, in the life of a couple, without a constant bond of prayer and without a revision of life in a humble mutual dialogue, the grace of the beautiful Christian love will be lost. Without the Sunday Eucharist, without regular confession, without personal and couple prayers, love, good wine of jars will run out, and the celebration will turn into a nightmare.
Families, go to Cana! Couples go to Cana! Betrothed go to Cana! It is at the school of Mary and Jesus that we will rediscover the joy of living, the good wine of the frank and serene relationship, the desire for communion, the desire for full and invigorating relationships! Let's go to Cana to learn to drink the good wine, the decanted wine, the delicious wine of the family provided by God himself.
Do whatever He tells you! Here is the secret of Cana. It's the secret of life!