Thursday, January 10, 2019

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.” – John 2:1-3

So begins the account of Jesus turning water into wine.  The story is told in such a way that this first teaching miracle was one unintended by Christ, a rather necessary response to a mother’s request to solve an awkward circumstance.  But Jesus responds to the need … in a way that was near hidden from the eyes of the public, in a way that drew not attention to Himself, in a way that was subtly symbolic about the transition that would now take place.  That transition?  The transition from the age of preparation to the age of celebration.

water into wineIn a lifetime of pastoral work, I went to many weddings, anniversaries, baptismal celebrations … and many more times than once or twice … I felt my soul sigh …”They have no wine.”  Oh, they might they might have the trappings of the festivities, the sparkling decorations, the music playing, the cake and the gifts … but as to the wine, the essence of the meaningful joy, … well, for some reason the wine was now depleted.  Such things happen … when all the focus is on the preparation and none on the spiritual essence of the celebration.

I believe one of the ministries of the Church and the individual Christian is to be sure that people and moments do not run out of wine.  Of course, I do not speak literally, but figuratively … we are ourselves having known the joy of baptismal waters and of baptismal Spirit become jars of celebratory wine.  We celebrate of our joy.  We share our joy.   We pour our joy into the empty glasses of our loved ones.   The wine is the life of Christ and we are the wine stewards.

We live in desperate times, for many, despondent times … and I fear our society is running low on wine.  We in Christ need to rise to the need of our circumstance.

Always in Christ’s Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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