Scripture tells us that wine makes the heart merry. And merry is good — it means we’re living in the freedom of the children of God. According to the quarantine memes women are posting on facebook, it looks like many of us may be a little “merrier” than ever these days. :)
At Cana’s wedding, the Mother of God said, “They have no wine.” A wedding is no place to pull the plug on merriment, so Jesus turned more than 100 gallons of water into wine so the celebration could continue in style.
Among this story’s many lessons is that of Jesus’ and Mary’s desire to change the ordinary into the divine; to turn ho-hum into joy — by the power of God.
What about my everyday “water”?
But do we allow Jesus to perform this miracle day-to-day in our lives, especially when things get tough? We need only listen to Mary’s words to the stewards: “Do whatever he tells you.”
As I was praying this decade of the Rosary on Thursday, I realized that “doing whatever he tells you” means finding joy (or at least not complaining!) in what he asks me to do in this moment he has given me. I know what he is asking of me by the circumstances and people he has surrounded me with in this moment – and it is only for me to follow Mary’s advice and “do that” — to say “yes.”
My godmother told me today that when Moses met God in the burning bush, God didn’t say, “I was” or “I will be” — he said, “I AM.” If we are open to meeting God in the present moment, we will find joy.
Jesus asked the stewards to fill the jars with water. He asks us, too, to bring him this ordinary moment so that he can transform it into a moment of joy — no matter how hum-drum or annoying that moment started out. He asks us to bring him our humanity — so he can divinize it. He asks us to give him our moments — so he can connect them with eternity.
Just as he received the five loaves and two fish to feed the 5,000, so he asks us to bring what we have, paltry as it may be — so that he may bring nourishment out of it — and joy.
Wine every day
If we can get into the habit of seeing “what’s happening now” as a gift from God, no matter how much it may go against our self-will and preferences, we’ll find that he has turned the water of tedium, annoyance, or difficulty into the joy of saying “yes” to his loving will for us. Our heart will be clear enough then to trust that everything he brings us has the hidden “wine” of joy, if we stay united with him in love.
This was very helpful. I’ve been trying to figure out how to experience joy for 50+ years. Your strategy sounds promising. I’m going to practice it.
I believe that many times we experience it but don’t recognize it until later — calling to mind that God can and will bring us to heaven if we keep cooperating with him — brings a deep joy that puts problems in perspective.
So well said, Sweet Rose.
We want to bring joy to others.
It’s hard to hide joy when you have it, right?
Beautiful message .
This message calls for meditation and pondering so that I can feel
the spirit of God mind,body,and soul.
Yes, we’re invited to feel the spirit as Mary did!
It was a setup. Jesus wasn’t interested in having more wine, but his mother put him up to it. I remember being set up by my mother who wanted to impress people by using me. In my case it was wedding photographer. I didn’twant To be a wedding photographer. I hate posing people for pictures and I never use flash. So I shot the wedding by candle light. For some reason the pictures turned out well. My “reward” was Being asked to do it again. I felt like the Italian barber who came to his family picnic and spent the whole time cutting hair.
Jesus seemed irritated by his mother’s request but made the wine. Like the wedding pictures it was the best wine. I went on for years doing jobs I didn’t want and believe it or not doing a good job out of spite. Then I got the big job I didn’t want, taking care of my stroke paralyzed wife. At the end of ten years I was ready to die. It was then that I thought about a daily mass that people came to at 6:30 in the morning. After listening to homilies for a few weeks I began to understand that Jesus, although reluctant, made up his mind to make the very best wine in praise of the Father. I could do the same. Every tough job took on a new meaning when I did it in praise of the Father. There is a quote from the 1980 movie Chariots of Fire that goes like this: You can praise the Lord by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection.” What a recipe!
Mary Ellen Stroud
Mary reminds me to do what Jesus tells me to do. That is the key to joy.
I really try to find joys in every day – in my home, in the people I encounter, in my husband (Most times!) and in my family. Sometimes it is easier said than done and sometimes it is a snap. I think of it as if I find joy there, I find our Lord there.
Thanks, Pat. It might work the other way around, too. If I get creative and find the Lord there, that’s where I’ll find joy! And he’s always there if we look for him :)