This morning as I was reflecting on the story of the Wedding Feast of Cana, the second Luminous Mystery, 3 things struck me from Christ’ first miracle that helped me in search for a meaningful Advent spiritual exercise.
The need to surrender
First is the hopeless predicament of the bride and her parents. Imagine for a moment you are the bride, your parents are hosting your entire family and the family of your beloved spouse. In those days, there were few feasts that surpassed in size or duration that of the wedding celebration. Hosting such an event was a monumental responsibility and to run out of wine would be utterly devastating. It’s not as if the bride or her mother could whisper to a friend, “Would you be a dear and make a run to Costco and get a few more cases of wine? Here’s my card and some gas money.” In those days they were quite literally hopeless. How often do we find ourselves in similar situations?
Sometimes it is the consequence of our sinfulness, but many times it is through no fault of our own. Whether it be unemployment, infertility, the loss of a loved one, or the heartache of watching a loved one struggle in the darkness. We have all been there, staring at this impossible situation with no visible way out. We are trapped in the darkness, and feeling hopeless we throw up a proverbial Hail Mary. We surrender entirely any ill-conceived plan or desired outcome, and falling to our knees we pray, “Help me, Lord...I am lost, I cannot see the light...I surrender...Jesus, I trust in You”. Why is it that we so seldom go to Christ with these words, why do we wait until we have literally run out of options? This should be the FIRST thing we do in EVERY situation. This is precisely what Mary did for the newlyweds on their behalf which leads me to the second revelation.
The power of Mary’s intercession
Somehow it was made known to Mary that the wine had run out. Instead of going to the head waiter, a likely first step for us, Mary immediately turns to her son with complete faithfulness, and says, “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3). Jesus responds with, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). Dr. Sri summarizes Mary’s response best when he writes:
“...consider how Mary herself interprets Jesus words: Does she walk away from the scene feeling sad, hurt, or rejected in any way? Just the opposite: She hears Jesus words and immediately says to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn. 2:5). Mary interprets Christs response so positively that she confidently believes Jesus is going to fulfill her request, and she tells the servants to be ready to do whatever her Son commands.” 
She does this out of great love for the married couple, in reverence for the sanctity of marriage, and the good of those gathered in celebration. What can often be overlooked is the consequence of Mary’s petition. Mary knew from Simeon’s prophecy that Christ would die for the sins of Man and her own heart would be pierced by a sword (Lk 2:34). This would not be possible though unless he began his public ministry. Mary knew by asking her Son to perform this miracle, she would be putting a target on his back that would lead to his death on the cross, and she asked Him anyways because of her great love for God. It is this perfect and selfless love of Mary in union with the love of her Son that serves as a model for the power of Mary’s intercession. In addition, Mary shows us that Christ is the FIRST, not last place to go in times of trouble because when we go to him with complete faithfulness as Mary did, without an agenda, in total surrender He surpasses all expectations and completely overwhelms us with his generous love which leads me to the third revelation.
The generous love of Jesus Christ
Jesus asked the servants to fill the 6 stone jars with water that were there for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each jar holds 20-30 gallons. That’s over 120 gallons of wine!! Jesus didn’t fix the problem, he overwhelmed the bride and groom with generosity. He gave them more wine than they could have ever needed, and based on the reaction of the head waiter, this wasn’t the “house red”. When we turn to Christ first and surrender our will, He responds with a generous love that surpasses all human understanding.
For the past few weeks I had been thinking alot about how I would spend my time during the season of Advent. I wanted to do something meaningful that would prepare my heart and soul for the coming of Christ on Christmas day. Reflecting on the mystery of the Wedding Feast of Cana, it became clear to me that what I needed to do was bring all my fears and anxieties as a husband, father, and provider along with all my human plans to Jesus through Mary. What will that look like? 30 minutes each morning before work offering up the needs of my family in silent prayer and adoration. Then, 15 minutes in evening examining how well I responded to the workings of the Holy Spirit that day, especially in the context of my duty to my family.
What are your plans for Advent? Take 30 minutes this evening and ask our Lord in prayer how you can prepare yourself during Advent for the birth of Christ our Savior.