By Allison Gingras
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. ~John 2:1-11
At the wedding feast in Cana, Jesus performs His first public miracle turning ordinary water into wine. Changing the substance of plain water into something so special, “the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”
The jars were “filled to the brim.” The abundance of new wine produced foreshadows the magnitude of God’s transforming grace. If Jesus can transform water into wine, imagine what he can do to us. It begins for each of us by inviting Mary and Jesus in and is daily maintained with the last recorded words of Mary in scripture, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Why water? And Why Wine?
Water is a necessity, thirst-quenching, and life-sustaining. Without water, we would all perish; without God, not only our bodies but also our souls would perish. Water symbolizes purity; it cleanses; and is the matter of our entry into the family of God through the waters of our baptism.
The significance of the water being turned into wine is multifaceted and unfathomable, as, with all things relating to God, we will never know every nuance of this meaning behind this literal miraculous moment. Most of us associate wine with special occasions and meals; the same would be true in the ancient world. However, it is also good to remember that wine was the “common” drink as water is today in those days. Wine through its making preserved it, for the most part, from contamination. As a person who suffers from Mysophobia (the irrational fear of contamination), I can appreciate this fact implicitly.
While in Rio for World Youth Day, we were warned to be extremely cautious of what we drank to avoid becoming ill. As a chaperone, I was not allowed to consume wine and teetered on panic, wondering what to drink at restaurants not offering bottled water. Upon arriving in Rio, our first order of business was to celebrate Mass together. As I consumed Jesus’ Precious Blood from the Chalice, I realized the only contamination I ever truly need to fear is that which comes via temptation and falling into sin.
Nuances of Faith
Another poignant intricacy of this miraculous moment comes in recognizing Mary’s actions are indeed one of great sacrifice. Until this wedding, she’d enjoyed having Jesus at home, in virtual obscurity. In this seemingly simple exchange of Mary relaying, “They have no wine.” And Jesus responded, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” A remarkable, unspoken understanding took place between them. She was giving Him to us, and in just three short years, He’d repay her generosity by offering her back to us.
This miraculous wedding exchange reveals the magnitude of the Blessed Mother’s loving heart towards those in need. Today, she continues to demonstrate this love—seeing our needs and seeking Jesus’ assistance for each of us.
Mother Mary, pray with and for me to always have the strength to do whatever Jesus tells me
Call to Action
The next time you drink a glass of water, contemplate the miracle at Cana, and what that moment in salvation history means to you personally.
© 2021 WINE — All Rights Reserved