water into wine 2 (flickr.com)

One invitation can have an eternal ripple effect.

Ten years ago a friend invited me—well, to be honest, more like “volun-told” me—to join a Bible study, and ten years ago my life was drastically changed. I’ve spent the last decade deepening my relationship with Jesus, falling in love with each person of the Trinity anew and traveling the country to share the joy of the Gospel. My heart was transformed and my spirit lit on fire to share the faith, and all because of one simple invitation. It’s amazing to imagine what one invitation can do.

In fact, here’s a perfect example: “On the third day, there was a marriage in Cana in Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus was also invited to the marriage, with his disciples” (John 2:1). Think about that. Someone invited Mary to a wedding… and they also invited Jesus.

Perhaps the scenario went something like this:

The young engaged couple is sitting down with their parents and making their wedding guest list. They’ve determined how many people can fit at the wedding and how many mouths they can afford to feed. The mother of the bride says, “Let’s invite Mary of Nazareth. She’s always been such a dear friend and always there for me whenever I need her.”

To which her husband responds, “She still has a son living at home. If we invite her, we have to invite him too.”

The young bride quickly says, “That’s ok. He’s single and I hear he’s a nice guy. Might be fun to have him at the wedding.”

The young groom chimes in, “And he has a great group of friends.”

Someone invited Mary and Jesus to the wedding, and look what happened! Lives were change and hearts were transformed on that day, and every day since.

Because of one invitation, on that day in Cana, a need was met, a family was spared humiliation, water was miraculously turned to wine, Jesus began his public ministry and the Blessed Mother spoke words that have an eternal effect: “Do whatever he tells you.”

The story of the Wedding in Cana perfectly sums up WINE: Women In the New Evangelization.

WINE is about meeting women in their need and inviting them into relationship—relationship with other women and relationship with Jesus Christ.

WINE is about growing in our love for the Lord by following the example of the perfect woman, Mary, and striving to always do the will of God, striving to do whatever he tells us.

WINE is about living our Catholic faith with renewed confidence, with conviction and hope, and one of the beauties of our faith is that we are a community. We’re all in this together. It’s not always easy to know and live the will of God. How blessed I am to have strong Christ-centered friends who help me as I stumble along this path. And many of these friendships are the result of one simple invitation years ago to join a Bible study.

It is our hope at WINE, that you find peace, joy and a sense of belonging in the friendships that come about as a result of spending time laughing and learning and growing in your faith with other women.

May we always be there to assist each other as we grow deeper in our personal relationship with Jesus. May we open our hearts to an invitation from the Lord to follow him and invite others to journey along with us. And may we always be there to guide, encourage and support one another as we each strive to do the will of God—to do whatever he tells us.