When I think, "wedding planner," I inevitably picture the ever-hilarious Martin Short, who played Franck Eggelhoffer in "Father of the Bride" ... a far cry from the wedding at Cana, but hey, who's counting?
So let's skip the collar-pulling father of the bride who pays through the nose for an exorbitant wedding. Boil the role of a wedding planner down to one major idea: on the wedding day, if there's a problem, the wedding planner's job is to fix it... immediately. Rewind some 2,000 years, and voila! Picture a 3-day running wedding celebration, complete with tables, cushions, and a feast fit for kings - the local community is celebrating a wedding, and Jesus and His Mother were invited. What's key to the wedding of Cana is that this is not only a new phase of life for the marrying couple, it is also a new phase of ministry for Christ.
On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign - at his mother’s request - during a wedding feast. The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.[Catechism 1613] it seems, then, so appropriate that Our Lady would be the herald of His public life.
Mary, always open and listening with trust for God's perfect timing, had eyes to see a need at the wedding feast of Cana. She saw an extremely embarrassing circumstance for the couple - they ran out of wine. Even today, in social settings, usually, if the wine runs out, the party is over. No difference 2,000 years ago; if the wine ran out, the guests would simply leave. Mary, the greatest wedding planner ever, sees a problem, and, with knowledge of and confidence in God's power, finds THE person who can remedy the problem ASAP. Like most wedding planners, she has a knack for knowing who to ask when a challenge arises. Once that person is found and agrees to fix the problem, the wedding planner sets the team in motion. It's a perfect example of how Jesus' first miracle rolled out. Mary sees a problem, runs to Jesus and states the issue very succinctly, "they have no wine." Of course, we get the surprising response, "“Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come," but even Our Lady knows, in God's will, this is perfect timing, so she promptly tells the servants, "Do whatever He tells you," to fill the wine jugs, despite Jesus' initial answer. I wonder, as the servants were filling these jugs with great effort, what were they thinking about this odd request? For watered-down wine - this took the cake. And then, Jesus produces wine - the finest, most tasty wine - from jugs of water. Given the response of the Master of Ceremonies, "you have saved the best for last," we can assume that the wedding feast was a success. For his first miracle, Jesus affirms the dignity of the wedding feast. And don't we believe, as Catholics, that Heaven is a wedding feast?
Personally, I think of the wedding at Cana as the greatest feast this side of Heaven. Wouldn't we all want Jesus and Mary to be at our wedding reception?
So here's my inspiration challenge to all engaged couples: right now, or next time we're together as a couple, let's invite Jesus and Mary to be our wedding planners, invite Mary and her Son to the wedding and the reception, and ask them to guide us in planning a joy-filled reception that heals wounds and fulfills needs.
For each engaged couple, preparing for marriage, let's make the success of a marriage feast (wedding reception), and the planning thereof, hinge on Christ’s presence and the message of commitment that the couple builds from day one.
The Scripture regarding The Wedding at Cana.
For an excellent analysis of The Wedding at Cana, check out Mark Hart (the Bible Geek)'s 3-minute YouTube presentation.