How beautiful that the Gospel offers us this interesting glimpse into Mary’s experience as a Jewish woman of her time, especially considering that not much is said about Our Lady in the New Testament. Jesus’ presence, along with his Apostles, who are the future Church, is perfectly framed in this atmosphere of joyful celebration, of love and life, within the context of a wedding. It reminds us that there is no aspect of human life that is not dear to Jesus’ heart and to that of His Church.
During this celebration of life, the wine, which often in Scripture symbolizes an abundance of joy, runs out. We all know that at times this same very joy comes lacking in our lives; it is then that we realize the need to dig deeper, almost looking for a hidden spring that can restore our days and bring new strength for the journey. Mary’s awareness of her surroundings moves her to take the initiative –unbeknownst to the bride and the groom, and asks for Jesus’ intervention. Despite His apparent refusal, Mary proceeds in revealing Christ’s plan of salvation, which she perceives and foresees in the depths of her heart, which is completely united to His. This very plan of salvation is not yet to be fulfilled, as He says, “Woman, my hour has not yet come;” nonetheless, He allows a ‘sneak preview’ through the symbolism of the water changed into wine.
The wedding at Cana becomes the sign of the union of the Son of God with man; the water changed into wine becomes the pre-figuration of the incredible miracle of the wine changed into blood in the Last Supper. Mary cooperates to the merging of Jesus’ desire to give Himself to man and of man’s desire to find that which truly quenches every thirst and gives joy. Once again, Mary becomes Mother, allowing the Son of God to enter into human history through her mediation, as it happened before in the instant of the Incarnation. This is why she trustfully tells the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Mary shows us a secure path to give meaning to our life, to give our daily experiences the colorful and joyful atmosphere of a feast. The secret is to do whatever Jesus tells us. This secret reveals to us why Mary is called the Most Prudent Virgin. Christian prudence is the ability to choose the right means of achieving the goal of life, which is union with God. Christian prudence differs from the world’s understanding of prudence, which is often linked to opportunism and indecisiveness.
The prudent man is the one who knows how to discern what is truly good and looks for the best way to achieve it for himself and for others. He does it by humbly asking God to grant it, just like Mary did, then accepting with docility. Jesus’ orders, like the servants who in this Gospel story saw the miracle unfolding in front of their own eyes.
Let us then ask Mary, Most Prudent Virgin, to help us to enter into this disposition of trusting acceptance of the Word that brings Christ’s joy, so that we can live every occasion and every circumstance of our day as a time that is filled and fulfilled, a time in which we never run out of the good wine.
To discern with wisdom and prudence our everyday choices, especially within the context of our jobs and studies, so that they can be a means for us to draw closer to the Lord.