The guests at the wedding feast at Cana would include not only the families of the bride and groom, but all of their friends and neighbours, too; the whole village. The party might go on for several days. To run out of wine would be a disaster for the hosts, an embarrassment that would be talked about for years to come.
Jesus’ mother is the first to notice what is happening. She points out to her son that the wine is about to run dry. Jesus, at first, seems reluctant to get involved, even dismissive of his mother’s concern. ‘My hour has not come yet,’ he says. Jesus’ whole ministry was lived out in obedience to his Father’s will, and he didn’t yet sense that it was time to reveal himself to the world. But his mother’s request was enough to prompt him. This Gospel story shows us that we should never be afraid to ask God for what we need. It shows us, too, that God is generous with his gifts. Jesus provides more than 120 gallons of top-class wine for the feast – what a party it must have been.
John describes Jesus’ miracle as a sign. His mother had faith in him, telling the servants at the feast, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ After seeing what he had done, Jesus’ disciples believed in him too. The story of Cana tells us never to be shy about asking the Lord for what we need. He will be more generous than we can imagine.