“They Have No Wine”

How reassuring it is that God, our Father, should concern himself with a practical thing like a wedding party running out of wine.  

Jesus and his disciples, along with his mother, Mary, had been invited to a wedding in Cana. (John2:1-11) At the reception, Mary learns that the host had run out of wine and asks Jesus to remedy the situation.  Though Jesus first responds that the time for his manifestation has not yet come, he accedes to his mother’s presumption when she instructs the servants to do whatever he tells them.  He instructs the servants to fill some large jars set aside for ceremonial washing with water, draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.  After the headwaiter had tasted the water turned into wine, he exclaims to the bridegroom that he had kept the best wine until the end.

There is a common notion by some Christians that we should only seek God’s assistance in important matters and not bother him with practical every day needs.  Situations involving life and death or economic calamity may qualify, but surely not replenishing the wine supply at a wedding party.

Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did at the request of his mother.  God places no restrictions on what we may bring to him in our requests for his action.  St. Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6)

As father of the bride and host of three of our daughters’ weddings, I would have been horrified if we had run out of wine.  No doubt Mary was a close friend of the family hosting the wedding at Cana, and brought God’s mercy to bear through her son Jesus.

Over the years, my wife and I have brought all manner of requests to God, our Father, from mundane things like a parking place at a busy shopping center to the healing of a daughter’s heart born with holes between the auricles and ventricles.  We have prayed for where we should live, the health and well-being of our children and parents, good schools, good neighbors, good friends for our children and their future spouses, safety in travel, wisdom in our relationships, and that we would all come to know God more each day.

We should not forget that in his suggested prayer to us, Jesus asked us to pray each day for our daily bread.  It is only natural that God, who created us in his image and likeness and entrusted us with taking care of his creation, would want to respond to our requests for the practical needs of life.

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