|Photo Credit: cohdra from morgueFile.com|
Who doesn’t love to get an invitation in the mail? My children leap for joy when they find a birthday party invite tucked neatly inside the stack of bills and other random mail in the kitchen. Sometimes a tug-of-war ensues to determine which one of them gets to open that glorious envelope, but most of the time the invitation comes out in one piece.
When we get an invitation, it means that another person wants our presence there, right? (Well, maybe our presents, too, but hey, who doesn’t love a present here and there? Ha ha!). These days, invitations can come in many forms – in the mail, in an e-mail, a text, a facebook invite, a phone call, or possibly just word of mouth. However we’re invited, we can all agree that it feels good to be on the receiving end.
I even remember as a child that some kids would dangle their invitation like a carrot and say, “If you don’t do this or that, I won’t invite you to my birthday party.” For some reason, I recall that enticement working pretty well. I can neither confirm nor deny that I ever said those words myself.
This past weekend in church, Father Bentil shared with us about the wedding at Cana. I’m sure that all of the people in town were excited to receive that wedding invitation. During that time, weddings lasted for several days and the families of the bride and groom were responsible for providing the food and wine until the celebration was over. Running out of food or wine would bring great dishonor to the family name.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, was very concerned when she saw that the wine was running low. Maybe she was involved in the planning or the organization of the wedding or maybe she just couldn’t bear to see the family shamed? Either way, she knew that her Son could do something to help the situation, so she asked.
Jesus performed His first miracle during the wedding at Cana by turning water into wine...the very best quality wine at that…superior to anything that had been served thus far. I’m certain that this miracle made a strong and lasting impression. Well, here I am talking about it some 2000 years later, so there ya have it. I’m also very sure that the family was thrilled that they had decided to send Jesus an invitation. He was able to perform this amazing miracle because they had invited Him.
I wonder why Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding? Who knows for sure, but some say that Jesus may have chosen a wedding because it is something that most everyone in every culture can relate to. An ordinary setting became the stage for an extraordinary miracle. So, maybe Jesus wants to do something extraordinary in OUR everyday lives?
First things first…we have to invite Him. Father Bentil encouraged us to contemplate whether or not we are inviting Jesus into our families, our relationships, our marriages…our very hearts. Are we? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
Take the wine for example. Jesus could have just turned the water into a mediocre wine or anything comparable to that which was already being served, right? Yes, He could have. But, He didn’t. The wine He produced was THE best! The quality of wine He made was so unbelievable that it probably left the host family speechless, as well as everyone who tasted it.
Don’t you think that Jesus would do the same for us? Maybe we don’t need Him to turn our water into wine (I didn’t just say that, did I?!), but surely He can take care of our own needs in a big, beautiful way, too. If we invite Him into every aspect of our lives, I’m quite certain that He would leave us speechless as well.
When we have a gathering, we make a list of our besties and family, but do we include Jesus? He’s patiently waiting for our invitation. And, during a time where RSVPs are few and far between, we could count on Him to be the very first one to say, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
I don’t think Jesus needs an ultra-fancy invitation full of glitter and confetti (although that sounds like sooo much fun!). I’m sure a simple prayer would do…one that says, “You’re invited.”