Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
“What wonders to know that Our Lord here below Is with us to bestow grace on our good doings and cause them to glow.”
Yes, that’s my verse above as I reflect on Cana. It’s that famous wedding reception held in that tiny town with reverberations far beyond. Two distinct facts emerged from it. Note this fact for sure: the Son of God actually went to a wedding reception! Bear in mind what this means: the Lord and Master of the universe, creator not only of faraway galaxies that our human eyes can barely see without machinery, and also of creatures so deep in the ocean that only our cameras let us glance them; He who is and will be, our sole and supreme Judge actually walked into a party meeting and greeting, only to toast the newly weds; dine on the food and dance to the music.
To all those sour types who believe that God wants nothing to do with us in the little happenings of our ordinary lives, and dwell aloof from us here is proof of the opposite. How wonderful that is! Cana lives forever in our minds.
Here is the second fact: There is such a unique relationship between Jesus and Mary, that not many words need be spoken. A bond begun from the minute of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to her which was all about Him. All that needed to be said was “Do whatever He tells you.” As Our Lady’s valedictory message, the last words of her in the Bible, it could not have been better for us to hear.
It is important for us to realize that no human agency, not even that of His own Mother, could dictate what Jesus would do. God the Father’s will was Jesus’ sole mandate. But somehow, I believe the power of the love between Himself and His Mother, persuades Our Lord to change His schedule. Oh what a certain young couple had to remember for family storytelling! Cana is forever.
So how are we to react to all this? I believe first of all that we must update our trust in Our Lord’s loving awareness of us as individuals. He knows us by name. Taking our cue from St. Paul’s Letter to Corinth, we can believe that each of our unique talents marks our place in God’s creation. He knows us and loves us. Pure and simple. Marvelously comforting.
Secondly, Cana makes us aware that often the best approach we can make to Our Lord is through His holy Mother. She has such vital knowledge of Him that she knows just what to say and how to say it to her Son. This is not to deny direct prayerful address to Jesus. I speculate that the widespread discomfort of our non-Catholic sisters and brothers with Mary at least in part springs from our own misguided ways. I’ve not forgotten the shock I experienced as a boy when I witnessed an otherwise pious woman rush right past the tabernacle with no mark of respect shown the Real Presence in her haste to kneel at a shrine to Mary.
Meanwhile we can experience a touch of the joy of Cana in our hearts as the Sacred Host and Chalice are raised above our heads at Mass. It lets us join in spirit with St. Richard of Chichester, who once prayed thus: “O most merciful Friend, Brother and Redeemer, may I see You more clearly, love You more dearly, and follow You more nearly, day by day.”