instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Monday, January 19, 2004

When the wine ran short

As the beginning of His signs, Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Galilee. But what led up to this first miracle?

A family of good Jews (good enough, at least, to perform the required ceremonial washings) plans a wedding celebration. How much wine is needed? About this much. Start with the best available, then move on to inferior wines.

Well. We can see how far all that careful planning got them.

As the crisis looms, someone notices. That someone happens to be the first and best disciple of Christ, who pleads with him (as perhaps only a mother can) to help.

If He is to help, though, there must be faith. Not on the part of the host, or even the headwaiter, but on the part of a few servers. "Do whatever He tells you." "Fill them with water." No great faith is required, I suppose, and yet how it is rewarded!

The crisis is averted, and hardly anyone even knows there was a crisis. Custom is turned upside down, a party continues with a superabundance of superb wine, a handful of people begin to believe their Teacher is more than a teacher.

How far will our own plans and efforts take us? Do we see that Jesus is present, that to ask Him in faith is to receive, in superabundance, far better than we even think to desire?