We saved some wine from our wedding two years ago because so much was left over. We bring some out every anniversary, as a sign of the blessing it is to be married. Whoever shares it with us agrees: it is the best wine they ever tasted.
People drank freely on our wedding day. We didn’t know we ran out until our chief steward brought the new wine over. I didn’t really know Jesus that well either. Jesus’ dad and my dad were friends, because they were both carpenters. It takes about six hours to walk from Nazareth to Cana and Joseph would sometimes spend the night at our home. Joseph had passed away by the time Judith and I were betrothed. Mary gave many of Joseph’s tools to my father after Joseph’s passing. She gave us his favourite hammer as a wedding gift. I could only assume that Jesus was not planning to continue in his father’s profession.
Marriage is more difficult than I ever dreamed it would be. God is blessing our marriage, but the heartaches are many. My wife miscarried three times before we welcomed our son into the world. I feared I would lose her after his birth because she was so ill. Fortunately, our wedding anniversary was imminent, and we brought out the wine for our annual toast. Despite her weakness, Judith welcomed our ritual. We told stories from our wedding day. As we emptied our glasses, Judith looked brighter and stronger. Within days she was back to her normal self. Was there something special about that wine? I can’t say. But there was certainly something special about Jesus, and that was obvious based on the miracle at our wedding feast.
He stopped by on our anniversary the first year we were married along with Philip and Nathaniel. He spent a night with us before moving on. His ministry is causing quite a stir throughout the area. I was glad of the opportunity to offer hospitality. I showed him his dad’s hammer, still a valued part of our workshop, and he smiled with great love. While he was with us, he spoke about forgiveness and how critical it is not only in marriage but also in society at large. For a man who’s never been married, he sure understands the effort a good marriage demands. I told him that starting fresh and letting go are keys to success… I felt valued and heard in his presence. Jesus blessed us before he left and encouraged us to share our love with our family. And to share, of course, the wine.
Loretta Pehanic, The Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Sacramento CA