Six stone jars…
I love the image of these vessels in this week’s Gospel reading from Saint John. As inanimate objects they have the simple purpose of containing something. They are just “sitting there”. I wonder if anyone gave the jars a second thought after the miraculous conversion of water into wine? Let’s pay attention to them and see what they reveal.
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.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from — although the servers who had drawn the water knew —, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him. John 2:1-11
These kinds of jars were always present in Jewish culture. But these "common" jars were vessels containing something miraculous. And they did so by simply doing what they were created to do.
As the mother of Jesus, Mary simply did what she was created to do. In being a willing vessel Mary participates in Jesus’ work of transformation and redemption.
You and I are God’s vessels. We have a purpose in His great plan of transforming and redeeming our fallen world. The question I have is whether we allow Jesus to change us? Mary and the disciples did and look what Jesus accomplished through them.
Are you ready and willing to be used by God for His purposes? Hear Mary’s words and, “Do whatever He tells you.”