Saturday, 16 January 2010

The wedding feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-11)

It feels a bit like being in the eye of the storm while I am writing this reflection, a calm that might give a unrealistic sense of security. Two exams are finished, and two to follow on Wednesday and Thursday. I just took a bit of a breather to write this short reflection before the final sprint.

The Gospel this Sunday is the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. Jesus and His disciples attend and so did His mother. It happens on the third day, St. John tells us, Jesus is not wasting days...

It is nice to notice that this is Jesus His first miracle. In the end of chapter one of John's Gospel we read the call of Peter, Andrew, Philip, Nathanael and probably John himself. Especially the call of Nathanael always strikes me as special. It shows  what an impact meeting Jesus can have on somebodies life, something beyond words, something beyond understanding. I think it is significant that these men followed Jesus before He did His first miracle. They were not following Him because of the excitement, there was something else...
They followed Jesus because He touched them in a profound way, and as soon as Jesus asks them "Follow me" (Mar 1:17 RSV) they "immediately they left their nets and followed him" (Mar 1:18 RSV)...

The line that is often repeated, and that struck me was Mary saying "They have no wine." (Joh 2:3 RSV). Actually, I like to talk a small bit about my own journey in the last few weeks, and this quote seems relevant, together with the above. I hinted at last week that I was struck by the fact that last weeks Gospel reading says that after Jesus was baptized and was praying, the Heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove... This link between the prayer and the Holy Spirit, the love between the father and the son, is defiantly something close to my heart at the moment...

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I put a big emphasis on prayer. It is in prayer that we meet the Lord, and it is in prayer that our friendship with Him deepens... In the beginning this can sometimes be very experiential, sensual or emotional, but then after a while this part of the relation seems to wear off a bit, when prayer becomes deeper so it seems to me the relation. And maybe I can say that it seems to be on a deeper part of the soul, of which we are not sensual aware as much.

This relation however is the foundation of our lives, even if we don't realise it. The first disciples followed Jesus not because of the external miracles he performed, but by the impact he made on the person. After a while prayer might become dryer, but all the same it becomes deeper. We realise that it is not the experience that binds us to God, but exactly this something deeper or something more.

The reason I write this is that once more I experienced what the absence of this deeper is like. Sometimes theories are nice, but not always consoling if things seem hard. But once again, while after being home for a week I noticed a difference... There was something missing, and initially once more I couldn't put mu finger on it. Especially prayer was hard and it almost seemed pointless. I think this is an important reflection, although I don't know if it strikes a cord with anybody else. I always love my time at home, and it is always a very happy time. As such that would not account for my chance of complexion, and also it points out that this deeper grounding has possibly not directly anything to do with the social environment you are in (e.g. with family, friends etc.). A fact is, that when I am home the amount of private prayers I say are minimal, and usually it is hard just to try to get in whatever is required (like the office, rosary etc.). As there is no daily mass near my home that is something I miss as well...

It is also interesting that it happens all times when I "take a break from prayer", not just when I go home, that I start to sense this feeling of the absence of something which grounds me, which boils up as the source of the meaning of life. A common denominator is also that I never seem to realise that the fact that I have neglected my Lord is the cause...

Anyway, I don't really know what I want to say, and maybe I should continue my studies. For me personally however, it just confirms strongly the difference prayer does make, the reality of the relation I have with God and the love He has for me. Normally exam weeks like these would have made me very nervous and agitated, but while I am trying to study every free minute, my priority stays my prayer life and God central in my life. This gives me a peaceful grounding and confidence that God's Will will be done... it really makes such a difference...

Jesus is the "the good wine" (Joh 2:10 RSV), He changes water into wine, He can change a life which is like water, essential for survival and as an essence enough, to something much more spiced. There is so much more available to us if we allow Him to change the water into wine, and partake in the Heavenly Banquet as He changes water into wine every time we partake of Him in the Holy Eucharist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so open and honest regarding your prayer life and journey into God.

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