Cana. The first miracle of Jesus Christ. Also, what also is the first, of what we know about. is a disagreement between mother and son.
Hmmm. A disagreement between mother and son. Sounds like Jesus proved both his divinity and humanity all at one event. A wedding, no less which normally means a union. But there you have it in scriptural writing.
Says the Son of God, “It’s not my time, Mom, so please leave me alone.” Mary, being the wise mother that she is, knows in her heart that her son will do the right thing. “Just do what he tells you to do,” dictates the Mother of God to the catering service.
Whether it’s Roman, Greek, or the mythology of our Catholic faith - gods and Gods seem to like to argue. One position. One staunch position. Standing tall with a strong resolve. Very little room for bargaining, if any.
My opportunity to listen and compromise to my elders was done with soap. My mother shoved it inside my mouth after my feeble attempt to defy her. It worked. Then my mother’s mother shoved Ivory soup in my mouth after a said “s_h_i_t” to her for some silly reason. In her home. Unfortunately for my grandmother, her soap tasted kinda nice to me, a scented soap. But, I still got her message.
Disagreeing and getting frustrated when “two or three are gathered” at a dinner table is as inevitable as when “two or three are gathered” at the table of Our Lord. Why? Because it’s us, folks. A Christmas gift this year to me was a plaque that read, “The more people I meet, the more I love my cat.”
Disagreeing and getting frustrated are, and will continue to be, a part of our nature. What is not part of our nature, nor of our Christian faith is the methods we use. Politics shows us the worst of it these last few years. In the Congressional chambers, where’s the Ivory soap kept?
We yearn for union between us. No longer to be “between” us but “with” us. We pray for union among nations, every single day at Mass. Yet, how often do we revel in our comfortable disagreements? The ones where we are always right and everyone else is wrong. Since I’m not married I believe that bargaining is very much a part of the bargain we call marriage. If there’s only a winner and a loser then that sacred bond is slowly but easily torn apart.
Since I have two cats, I guarantee you that my two cats always win. Oh, well, I don’t mind.
Our readings today describe the bond. A marital-type bond between Israel and God. A bond with powerful words: no more “forsaken” or “desolate” but, in faith, becomes “my delight” and “espoused.” And St. Paul chimes in with his list of many gifts. We don’t possess all those gifts but meld them with the gifts of others to become a union, a beautiful harmony of care and concern for both ourselves and those around us; most especially those with whom we disagree.
The Son of God needed a nudge. And, who better to nudge than his first disciple - Mom. Mary. Mary nudges her son to perform the first of his many miracles.
I don’t think soap was invented back then. But a nudge is a universal gesture or look between two people. Can we nudge ourselves toward being a tad more compassionate, patient, and offering a listening silence when conversations get heated? It may very well not be our nature but it is the nature of our Catholic/Christian faith.
I have to remember that wine protocol: good wine first, then sneak in the cheap stuff for the rest of the evening. Good idea!