Sherry Antonetti is a freelance writer, blogger and published author of The Book of Helen. She lives just outside of Washington, DC with her husband and their ten children.
When I pitched the idea of writing on meditations concerning the mysteries of the Rosary, because I’d started with the 5th Joyful Mystery (rather than in an orderly fashion), an obvious question loomed: What mystery should be examined next?
Pulling up the internet and reading emails, news stories and prayer petitions, I looked for the answer and asked the Blessed Mother to guide me. A quick morning glance revealed multiple struggles that tugged at my heart—all of them real, all of them part of the hardness and more challenging parts of marriage vows (for poorer, in bad times, and in sickness).
One person is looking for a job, and together with her husband and children, trying to stretch the money to last through the uncertainty.
Another family lost their house to the hurricane.
Several are battling the return of cancer. Praying, they are holding onto their faith and their family with a fierceness that reveals the depth of their marriages.
In each case, there is no reserve. There is no safety net. They hold by love and by grace, to God and to each other. Hope remained in their hearts. But the words, “They are out of wine,” floated into my head.
In the 2nd Luminous Mystery, we don’t know why the host family has run out of wine. Maybe a cistern cracked. Maybe the guests drank more than usual. Maybe some of the wine soured or spilled. Maybe they couldn’t afford more. Maybe they had planned for it, but it never materialized. Maybe they didn’t plan for it at all. We don’t know. We only know, the feast is going on, and Mary sees their need and brings it to her son, saying, “They are out of wine.”
How many ways could such a phrase apply to everyday life? We are out of time, we are out of a job, we are out of luck. We are out of money. We have too much to do. We are out of patience. We need a break. The feelings are gone. He/she is far away. The wine of life, the joy of it, is missing. We are out of wine.
Mary gives the great instruction for each of us, as stewards to the feast. “Do whatever He tells you.” and we all know what happens when we obey those instructions. Jesus acts! From those actions, something luminous, something miraculous, something better than we would have anticipated, planned or even hoped, is created. We receive a wine better than the first.
The miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana is also representational of the wedding to which we are all invited, where we the Church are the bride. The miracle is, then and now, the grace we receive as part of a sacramental union.
We should call upon the graces of this sacrament for our own lives and those of our family and friends' marriages. We should also expect—with our obedience to Mary's instructions, “Do whatever He tells you”—that the gift and graces of Jesus in our marriage, the true wine, the deeper better vintage, will flow.