The gospel for last Sunday was the story of the Wedding at Cana. Mary and Jesus were at a wedding. The hosts ran out of wine. Mary told Jesus and 12 huge jars of water were turned into wine, not just ordinary wine, but the very best.
It is amazing to me that Jesus’ first miracle wasn’t about healing a blind man, curing someone who was sick, or something like that. Jesus’ first miracle was about making wine – gallons and gallons of a great vintage – and helping a celebration continue. This first miracle sets the stage for everything that would follow. It is a symbol of Jesus’ ministry and sign of the joy and abundant love he came to give to us.
Filled with anxiety about Covid, Climate, political divisions, and the struggles of daily lives, it sometimes feels we are running on empty – tired, burned out, frustrated, scared, and unable to celebrate or experience the joy. The wedding of Cana reminds us that Jesus is here to refill us with joy, not just a little, but a lot of it — so much that it overflows and fills everyone around us, again and again and again.
I was reminded of this the other day when I heard an old recording of an interview with Archbishop Bishop Desmond Tutu, in which every sentence ended with laughter. The interviewer commented on that and mentioned his relationship with the Dalai Lama and how they giggled like little kids when they got together. The Archbishop and Dalai Lama had both gone thorough plenty of struggles and suffering in their lives. Both, however, stilled overflowed with a joy, that like the wine in Cana, was just kept bubbling out.
Yes, we have challenges. Yes, many of us are suffering and grief even now. We, however, are people of Good News who proclaim a faith which says that no matter how bad things get, God is with us and will continue to be with us no matter what. We don’t know what the future looks like but we do know that in the end love wins, God wins and, in fact, that the victory of light and life was already won some 2022 years ago. As symbolized in the wedding in Cana and in our communion each week, that celebration continues today. Like laughter, the healing love and joy Jesus brings is contagious, spilling out with more than enough for everyone, even you and even me.
Are your spiritual jars feeling empty? Fill them with water, and you may just be surprised at what happens next.