Has the wine run out?
Has the wine run out in your life? In the Gospel, there is a major problem. The wine has run out. What does this mean? I’ll tell you what this means. The party is over. Wine is a symbol of joy. As wine is to a wedding, so is joy to life. Has the wine run out? Have your plans in life come to conclusion to the best of your abilities? You’ve got the spouse and the honeymoon is over. You have the 1.8 children (new census data). Maybe it’s the wonderful teen years where the children now hate you (hint, they are supposed to). You work your job only to come home to have a couple of beers at the end of the week. Back to chores for the weekend. It’s no wonder that people go into crisis mode. Is this all there is? Let’s go back to our twenties and find someone and start all over again (hint: the same thing will happen again). Maybe the wine has run out for even bigger reasons e.g. depression, illness, grief. We may be in this for some period of our life, but this is not the end, at least it doesn’t have to be the end. Now that we have carried out our plans and have done things the best way we can think, let’s take a look at the Gospel. What changes the same old story of running out of wine? Mary has some great wisdom to offer being the queen of all saints. Remember this line, “do whatever he tells you.” When we have reached this point in our life, we can continue on with our plan or do what Jesus tells us. Jesus knows, and we don’t know how to have abundant life. Abundant life doesn’t relieve us from grief and feeling the pain. We might even feel it more acutely, but it frees us from being frozen in it so we can feel all of life. Fol-lowing God’s will, you will know what it means to be fully alive.
The best part of the Gospel is the puzzlement of the headwaiter, “everyone (I mean everyone) serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Just when we think life is over both figuratively and literally there is a further journey. It’s over because the kids have moved out. It’s over because we have retired. It’s over because a loved one has died. No, there is still God’s will to be done. I’m not saying that it’s God’s will that your loved one has died or that some tragedy has befallen you. It’s just that living God’s will has a way of bringing meaning to life and transforming our sadness into joy that this is not to end in death for our loved ones and for ourselves.