Jesus leaves the "Private Life of Nazareth" that lasted close to 30 years and now embarks on a new stage of His earthly life:  His Public life.   Preaching and teaching in abundance, the expulsion of devils through exorcisms and the working of miracles over human bodies and over nature--- these were the activites of the three years of His Public ministry.   Cana, in Galilee, at a wedding Feast is where it all starts. From this humble beginning Jesus and Mary teach us splendid lessons that we are called to meditate upon, pray over and imitate.

GRACE:  Pray for this grace:  "Intimate Knowledge of Jesus--- the Son of Mary-- that I may love Him more ardently and follow Him more closely.  (St Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises, fruti to pray for in the second week of the Exercises).

Let us dig in to this spiritual "Gold mine" of treasures and enrich our hearts, minds and souls.

1. MARY AND JESUS.  Mary always leads us to a deeper love and folllwoing of Jesus. Vatican II says that "Mary was the foirst disciple of Jesus". May our following of Jesus be all the more close through the intercession of Mary.

2. MARRIAGE/MATRIMONY.  Jesus and Mary are present at a young couple getting married. They teach us the sacred character of marriage, between man and woman,  bound together in love until death do they part.  We implore Jesus and Mary to bless marriage, family and our children.  "Ther future of the world passes through the family." (Pope John Paul II) and, "The basic building block (cell ) of the society is the family, (Pope J.P.II)

3. APOSTLES PRESENT.   To be an effective apostle/missionary there is a proper order and sequence:  "First come, then go."     First, we must come and be with Jesus, spend time with Him, get to know Him and love Him; then we can go out to the world to bring Jesus to others.  In other words avoid "Activism"--- first, contempation, then action. Or, first "Mary" then "Martha".

4. JOY!  The wedding feast is a festive and joyful environment.   We are all called to the "Gospel of joy". Paul exhorts the Phillipians: Rejoice in the Lord; I say it again: rejoice in the Lord."  (Phil 4:4). Remember, however, joy is not the same thing as pleasure. Pleasure can be bought with money; true joy comes from God and is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Mary teaches us this truth in her Magnificat: "My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour..."  True, authentic joy is found in closeness to God.

5. ENVY.   A true enemy of joy is comparing oneself to others and giving into envy--- a sadness in seeing what others have and you do not have. How can we counteract this attitude which destroys charity?  Live out the words of St. Paul:  "Rejoice with those who rejoic and to weep with those who weep."  Your spiritual victory is mine!  St Therese expresses it clearly: "When somebody does good spiritually, he lifts up the whole world."

6.  WEDDING CEREMONY.  For Jews the celebration would often last beyond the week. May we pray for our young people who are called to the married state and vocation, that they will make the right decision--- which is the most important decision inm their lives. In the choice of a future spouse, the first quality and condition should be the foillowing: "I want to choose some person that will help me to get to heaven as well as the children that God will give us to get to heaven."  Challenging but true!

7. PROBLEM: NO WINE!  Mary, withe her always attentive and compassionate heart, notices immediately the problem and she wants to help.  My life is full of problems, some small others  bigger, still others enormous!  Why not go to Mary and ask for her help and intercession to resolve these problems.  Problems shared with Mary are resolved or at least made easier!

8. EXAMPLE OF MARY'S HELP!  St. Juan Diego turne to Mary with the fear of the death of his uncle Juan Bernardino and Mary gently but firmly told him not to worry. She said that he was in the folding of her arms(her heart). The problem was solved and his uncle was healed. Like Juan Diego, let us run to Mary and place our problems in her Immaculate Heart; she will never abandon hewr children. Right now, with your problem, stop and place this problem in Mary's heart! Peace and trust are now yours!

9. MARY'S POWER/MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES!   Mary has power over the Heart of Jesus-- she formed this heart for 9 months in her womb. Jesus transforms the water int the best of wine, the most exquiste of wines!   Jesus cannot resist the prayers of Mary His Mother. All the graces come to us from the throne of the Blessed Trinity. However, they all pass through the hands of Mary. She is the bridge that connects us to Godl the aqueduct; she is the neck that connects us to the Head and the Head is Jesus, the head of the church.

10. EUCHARISTIC SYMBOL.  Jesus turned the water into wine in Cana. Later, at the Last Supper, Jesus will turn wine into His Precious Blood , as He institutes the greatest of all Sacraments: the Eucharist, the Sacrament of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity! Our Lady in her appearances--- Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe--- asked for a Church. Why? To bring Jesus to us again, but this time through Mass and the Eucharist!

Conclusion,  Mary is the quickest, easist, shortest pathway to Jesus. (St Louis de Montfort). Turn to Mary, speak to Mary, love Mary and entrust your life to Mary.  " Maria cogita, Maria invoca."   (Think of Mary, invoke Mary--motto for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary)