Cana and Chateau Haut-Brion
One of the most impressive events in the gospel happens at a party. It shows the authority that Mary of Nazareth had in the mind of her Son and of the Father and Holy Spirit. It’s the event at Cana in Galilee.
Jesus came to that event without having done any works of power – giving sight to the blind, cooling a woman’s fever or exorcising a man’s madness. He had not yet been able to open his disciples’ minds to the full significance of His own person, and His signs were meant as evidence of that significance. He did not want to do any works until He had helped them develop an understanding that these acts were not magic. They were evidence – evidence that the unthinkable good news He came to bring could be thought, taken in, and embraced.
So He came to the wedding feast with the crowd of his new friends. It’s almost a scene from a comic opera: of course, they ran out of wine. I wonder whether Jesus didn’t look around a bit nonplussed: What have we done? The families will be embarrassed – and on this day of all days.
At some point, His mother caught His eye. I wasn’t there, of course, but I feel sure that He saw what she thought. You did this; you undo it. It’s clear that Mary already knew the power that her Son could call on. You wonder what He had already done for her – and what He didn’t do for His father, Joseph, that at least two of them knew He could have done, did the Father will it.
We know how it unfolded. Son, they have no more wine. Mother, the time’s not ripe yet. Do whatever He tells you. Fill the big, big jars with water. Draw it out. Whoa – this is really good stuff. Why did you keep it for last?
Two things: first, get a clear grasp of how much authority the Lady Mary has, under the Triune God. She can change God’s mind. You want to try that? And second, when Jesus did what she wanted, the wine was not the ordinary stuff they were drinking. It was Chateau Neuf du Pape, Chateau Haut-Brion, and maybe some Pinot Grigio.
The lesson we can take away from this jumps off the page. If God in Christ seems reluctant to grant you something you want – even if it’s just for joy – talk to His mother.
But do remember what St. Teresa of Avila said about the great grief coming not from prayers unanswered, but from prayers answered. Well, that will give you another reason to talk to His mother.