From Nothingness to Abundance

Sarah Granger // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


January 16  

“There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding . . . When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him,They have no wine'” (Jn. 2:1-11).

Last week our whole family had COVID. Although our symptoms were mild, by Sunday night I was exhausted and discouraged, trying to get caught up on housework, laundry, and the kids’ work for their return to school. I had nothing left to give. I told Jesus this in prayer and also shared it with my equally exhausted husband as he walked out the door for evening Mass. 

Kevin picked up my favorite Mexican food on his way home from Mass, set the kids up with a movie, and started a show we both enjoy in the quiet of our bedroom. We thanked God for our marriage and some time to be together, and by the end of the night, I felt miraculously refreshed. Laughing with my husband over quesadillas, I became acutely aware of the blessing that my marriage and family are to me. I felt full of joy and ready to face the week. From nothingness to abundance, through the love of my husband, in the sacrament of my marriage. 

This experience of refreshment and joy may seem simplistic, but to me it is proof that the miracle of this Sunday’s Gospel can still happen. Jesus still shows up when I am empty and fills me to overflowing with new wine. This year, I want to remember when I come to the tough, painful places, to cry out to Jesus, “I have nothing!” and wait for him to reveal his glory.

The need, the ask, the waiting, the miracle. I want to learn this Gospel by heart.

“They have no wine,” Mary informs her son.  

There was a point in the marriage feast at Cana when there was nothing left. Was there shame for the hosts in this poverty? Was there any hope of provision? How must they have reacted when from their nothingness Jesus brought forth such an incredible abundance—possibly 180 gallons of wine—so much and of such excellent quality? 

Mary felt the need, and asked, and waited, and had the servants await Jesus’ instructions. Jesus had them prepare for a miraclefilling the water jars to the brim. And then . . . then there was more than enough of the best kind of wine.

What does this mean for me? In my marriage, my motherhood, my spiritual life? When I have nothing left, and stand, empty handed and ashamed, unable to give my spouse the attention he deserves, my children the patience they need, my prayer the quiet mind I long for, do I simply say to Jesus, “I have nothing”? Do I wait for him to act, to transform, to miraculously provide? Or am I unable to comprehend the miraculous leap from nothingness to abundance that was the first public sign that Jesus performed?  

I want to grow to better comprehend Christ’s generosity. I want to prepare myself to meet him in my nothingness day after day, and with expectant faith receive him as he brings me abundant joy, refreshment, and strength.

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