The outcome of any event is determined in large part by the people involved. The Continental Congress might not have passed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, if Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams had not been present. The Revolutionary War might not have been successful if George Washington had not led the Continental Army.
The people involved are a major factor in making events unfold as they do. That is also true of the events described in the Gospels.
In this Sunday’s Gospel (John 2:1-11), we hear about the wedding feast of Cana. During that celebration six stone water jars, each holding twenty to thirty gallons, are filled with water. Then that water is transformed into choice wine.
That miraculous event took place because certain people were present at that wedding. We are told that “the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.” If any of those people had not been present, the wedding celebration would not have ended on a happy note, and we would not be talking about it some 2,000 years later.
It was Mary who first noticed that the supply of wine had run short. To save the newly married couple and their families from embarrassment, she told her son, “They have no wine.”
Initially Jesus was reluctant to act. As he told Mary, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”
Yet Mary must have been confident of her persuasive, motherly influence, for she told the waiters, “Do whatever he tells you.”
The waiters did as Jesus instructed. Six water jars were filled to the brim, and the water within them became wine.
If Mary had not noticed the lack of wine and not persuaded her son to act, the miracle would not have happened.
If Jesus had not acceded to the request of his mother and instead chose to wait for some future “hour” to reveal his power, the miracle would not have occurred.
And if the disciples had not been invited to the wedding and witnessed what took place, the miracle would not have been reported, remembered, and included by John in his gospel.
What occurred at the Wedding Feast of Cana happened because the right people were there at the right time. If Mary, or Jesus, or his disciples had not been invited to that wedding, things would not have turned out as they did, and a wedding that took place long ago in a small village in Galilee would not be remembered.
If the right people are present in our lives, our days can be blessed with happiness and peace and unfold with meaning and purpose. Those people include the ones who were at the wedding feast in Cana, namely, Mary, Jesus, and his disciples.
Jesus saves us from the power of sin and death and reveals how to live as a child of God. Mary shows us how to faithfully respond to God’s will and reveals God’s tenderness. The disciples show us that holiness is possible, and they remind us of the Church, today’s community of disciples, who offer us support and encouragement.
Our lives can unfold in a wonderful way if the right people are present ─ just ask the bride and groom of Cana.
© 2022 Rev. Thomas Iwanowski