(Adults, you could begin by reading the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
The reading for this Sunday comes from the Gospel of St. John. We hear about Jesus and his mother and disciples at a wedding in a town called Cana. These sorts of weddings are huge celebrations of the love of two people. Family and friends come from all over and stay for several days. They eat and drink and dance. Everyone is full of joy. At the wedding in Cana, however, a problem arises.
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?
The bridegroom's family has run out of wine. Why is this a problem? Even Jesus is not sure. But the mother of Jesus knows that wine is not just a drink for the adults. Wine is a sign. At a wedding, wine is a sign of the love and joy. Throughout the Bible we see this sign. The mother of Jesus knows that if the wine has run out, that is not a good sign.
What else does the mother of Jesus know?
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Even though Jesus does not seem eager to get involved, the mother of Jesus knows that he can help. She also knows that he will help. Mothers know these things.
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.
Twenty or thirty gallons? In Canada, we would say each jar holds about 100 litres of water. Those are big jars.
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)
Hold up. What just happened?
the steward tasted the water that had become wine
St. John passes over that little detail pretty quickly! All that water has become wine?? Six jars, each holding about 100 litres of wine...that is as much wine as 800 bottles would hold! That is a lot of wine! We call that an abundance of wine.
How did this happen? Jesus did not do anything, did he? He simply told the people what to do and they did it. Just like his mother told them to do.
the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first...But you have kept the good wine until now.”
This abundance of wine is not just ordinary wine. It is not just water with a wine flavour. It is good wine. The steward tastes all the wine that is served. The bridegroom's family would have already served their best wine. The steward knows that this wine is better. It is the best wine they have served at the feast.
At Jesus' words, something ordinary has become something more. Water has become wine; it has become a sign of love and joy. We wonder, though, if it is a sign of the love and joy of the people who got married, or if this wine is the sign of something more.
The best wine.
This must be the sign of abundant love and the best joy.
Who loves abundantly?
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love.
With whom is there the best joy?
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
His disciples believe in him because of this sign.
But what if the mother of Jesus did not know that Jesus could help?
What if she did not know that Jesus would help?
What if she did not tell the servants to do whatever he tells them to do?
The disciples believe because the mother of Jesus shares her faith.
She shares her faith, and Jesus acts.
She shares her faith, and the servants listen to Jesus.
She shares her faith and there, among them all, is the sign of the abundant love and the best joy.
What if she had not shared her faith?!
Even better—what might happen if we share our faith?