People are sometimes surprised because Mary is mentioned first. Jesus and His disciples, at least initially, were a bit of an afterthought. Yes, she is first. Her “yes” is first. Hers was a gracious quality of presence. She was more than likely doing what women would do in that time: helping in the kitchen, preparing of the food, and providing hospitality to guests. This could be why she noticed that the wine had failed.
Yes, she is the one to come and present to the Son of God, “they have no wine.” Here she takes our part, she is the intercessor, the mediatrix of all graces, bearing in her human hands the possibilities, the hope and dreams of her children.
And why would she think that He could do anything about this sad situation? She had seen many and great wonders. The angel had greeted her with such honor; she had been called “Mother of my Lord” by Elizabeth; a star had announced His birth; Magi had come from the East bearing gifts; shepherds had come from the fields to worship Him; Anna had greeted her with such joy in the Temple; and she had treasured all these things in her heart.
What is a bit of wine after all these miracles? “What do you have to do with me?” He asks. The answer is, “plenty!”
Yes, this is a gospel of gracious abundance and the more deeply you dig, the more the abundance increases. “Do whatever He tells you,” is an echo of the book of Genesis when those words bring seven years’ worth of grain and here at this wedding produces 150 gallons of the best wine ever.
So, for your wedding today, what do I propose that you take from this?
First, the wine has failed. The world is against us. The world opposes the kind of commitment you are making today. The world stands squarely against your devotion to the sacredness of life. There will be trials and difficulties in this life, many of which are in the distant future. The Church, the world, society, economics, our sin, the worldly powers will always fail us; and you will fail each other.
The ability to pray together and the ability to develop an interior life will bring you face to face with the only person you may trust, Jesus Christ. If you both keep your eyes on Him the communion between you cannot but grow stronger. The six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification speak of a dependence on externals that do not bring fulfillment and do not purify. Without Jesus they remain just empty jars. With Jesus, the water becomes rich wine, the life in the womb of Mary is revealed as the second person of the Blessed Trinity and the defeated criminal in the tomb rises to the fullness of life as the Lord of Glory.
Secondly, “Do whatever He tells you.” The word of God must have a special place in your home. I am not speaking about a big bible enshrined on an end-table that no one opens. I am speaking of a couple of worn out, marked up bibles with memories of great discussions and even arguments over what it all means. You will lead busy and productive lives, so this means some discipline. Open the bible or the breviary both when you feel like it and when you don’t. Make time for this. My own experience tells me that when I make time for listening and adoration I have time for everything else. When I try to do it all by myself, I run out of time and often nothing gets done. Couples who don’t pray and listen to God often communicate about events and details and projects. But couples who do pray (and pray together) will communicate on a much deeper level that feeds the intimacy and communion that the world thirsts for.
And finally, “draw some out now and take it to the steward.” Many people don’t think of baptism when they read this. But the Apostolic Fathers sure do. Baptism is the first sacrament and it is the basis for everything else. It is what makes what you do today a sacrament. Baptism places you inside the Trinity and is what makes this unbreakable bond of love and peace unbreakable. Baptism is what makes this union a sign of Christ’s gift of grace. The steward had no idea where this rich wine came from, but the servants do know. If you remain humble servants of this love it will promise to change into the new wine of the Covenant each and every day of your lives. So always draw from your baptism and participation in Christ for the strength you will need in the days ahead.
His Hour had not yet come. When the Hour came, He was pierced by a lance; his side was opened, and what pours forth even now is the blood and water, the new wine of salvation flowing continually, bringing life through the sacraments. In the mysteries of the cross and resurrection, untrammeled by the limits of space and time, this Blood is still poured out from his side, now sanctifying and making Holy this marriage. In your consent the Love that is the gift of the Savior becomes tangible and real. My prayer for you is that this love will grow and each day you are more and more transformed into his likeness.