ACCOMPANIED BY THESE FIRST DISCIPLES, Jesus then continued on His way north to Galilee. On the third day after their departure from Bethany they had reached Cana, the native town of Nathanael, a few miles from Nazareth. There was a marriage feast in progress there and Jesus and His disciples were invited, possibly out of courtesy to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was also a guest.
Unfortunately, the arrival of six extra guests occasioned an embarrassing circumstance, for the wine supply was soon exhausted. Mary noticed that the wine had run short and, knowing that her Son could help the young couple in this difficulty, went and told Jesus what had happened.
Amused at His mother’s anxiety over this little contretemps, Jesus replied quizzically, with feigned reluctance;
“What wouldst thou have Me do, woman? My hour has not come.”
But Mary was familiar with her Son’s humor. She knew He would not refuse her this favor, and she told the servants to report to Him and carry out whatever orders He gave them.
Standing in the courtyard were six stone water-jars. They were quite large, each holding about twenty gallons, for the Jewish ritual of purification required that the hands be washed twice at each meal, and a great deal of water was consumed in this way. Sending out the servants, Jesus said:
“Fill the jars with water.”
And when they had filled them to the brim, He said:
“Draw out now, and take to the chief steward.”
When the chief steward tasted the contents of the jars, he found it to be wine of excellent quality and, not knowing the source, called the bridegroom and remonstrated with him because, unlike most hosts, he had saved the best wine until the end of the feast.
Through this first miracle Jesus preserved the dignity of the feast and manifested His power to His disciples. Now indeed “His disciples believed in Him.”
Meditation: Christ deigned to honor the wedding feast with His presence. In spite of the pressing demands of His ministry He took time to join the people in their wholesome celebrations of to them. Are we so absorbed events important in our plans for doing “great things” for the Kingdom of God that we neglect the small, gracious acts of charity upon which alone that Kingdom can be built?
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 23-24. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.