Monday, September 9, 2013

50 Days of Prayer - Day 17

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Day Seventeen 

The Wedding Feast of Cana

The first of Jesus' miracles is somewhat hidden.  The transformation of water into wine takes place in the washing jars, out of sight.  Only the servants are aware of what has happened - and they don't see it as it's happening.  This mystery, then, is like the Immaculate Conception, which took place entirely out of sight and which was only slowly revealed over the centuries; or like the Annunciation, or the unseen leaping of the baby in the womb at the Visitation, or the Nativity, hidden in a cave from all but the shepherds, or the Hidden Life of Our Lord, toiling in obscurity in Nazareth.  And the greatest of all mysteries - the Resurrection of a dead man to life, hidden in a tomb, unseen by all, but revealed and proclaimed by angels and men to all creation for all the ages.

For even the hidden things in these mysteries are revealed to us - in Scripture, in Tradition, and in our prayer and reflections upon them.

For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. (Mark 4:22)

And here at Cana we see what happens when the mystery begins to be revealed.  And we see it in Jesus' odd reply to Mary, when she tells him, "They have no wine".

His reply: "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4)

His hour was his death upon the cross, His sacrifice, the great reason for His coming, the fruit of His Incarnation.

Jesus knows that the moment His true nature begins to be revealed, His hour has come.  Come out of hiding, Lord, heal us, teach us, and prepare to die.

Imagine how difficult it must have been to witness His many miracles in the Holy Land.  The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the mad are delivered, and the evil spirits scream in agony, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Mat. 8:29)  Yes, there must have been joy in the healings, but  "with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” (Luke 4:36)  This is ineffable, this is disturbing - and when He wakes up and calms the storm at sea -

...  they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41)

And here in Cana it all begins.  Jesus heeds the intercession of His mother, works a miracle that bridges the gap between his Hidden Life and His public life, beginning the great work that will end only on Calvary, only with the cross.

Likewise, the change He will work in us, the miracle of transforming our water into good wine, will bring about our Hour as well.  The purpose of this alteration of our very substance is not simply our own private and secret benefit.  The water becomes wine to be poured out and shared; the wine will later become blood to be spilled as a ransom; and we will become New Men, marching out (if need be) to a happy martyrdom for His sake, and living a life of sacrifice and love in any event.

And may we accept our Hour as we accept the good wine He makes of us.

Let us pray a decade of the Rosary meditating upon the Wedding Feast of Cana.

And let us pray ...

To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves – our hearts, minds, wills and lives and all those works we undertake so they may be for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy, give to our hearts the dimensions of yours and form us in the image of your beloved Son.

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