The Wedding at Cana


The Rosary,” wrote Blessed Pope John Paul II, “precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer. Without this contemplative dimension, it would lose its meaning.”

Pope Paul VI wrote that “without [this contemplation,] the Rosary is a body without a soul, and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ: ‘And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words’ (Mt 6:7).’”

Because of this, it is vital that Christians familiarize themselves with the Scriptures in order to meditate on the mysteries of the life of Christ.

Below is the second Luminous mystery. To see other mysteries, click here.

The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1-11)

In the second chapter of John we read of a marriage at Cana in Galilee. Jesus was invited with his disciples (2:2). During the course of the feast the wine ran out. Mary, the mother of Jesus, approaches Jesus with what appears to be a simple observation: “They have no wine.” Mary, anticipating what was to come, tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Jesus turns the water in six jars into wine.


The story begins by noting that a marriage took place “on the third day” (2:1). “Chronologically this refers to the third day since Jesus’ encounter with Nathanael (1:43-51). Theologically, it has two levels of significance. (1) The third day is actually the seventh day of Jesus’ opening week of ministry. The evangelist hints at this when he delineates the successive days in 1:29, 35, 43 and 2:1, implying that the creation fashioned in seven days (Gen 1:1-2:3) is being transformed and renewed by Jesus.”

What do we find on this seventh day? Not the old man but the new. And just as Jesus is the new Adam (Rom 5:14), so is Mary the new Eve. Though the first woman led the first man to commit his first evil act (Gen 3:6), here we see the new woman lead the first man to perform his first miraculous act. Mary, the Catechism states, “gave herself entirely to the work and to the person of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace” (494).

Personal Application

This mystery encourages Christians to develop a devotion to the New Eve, Mary. She is, as English poet William Wordsworth noted so beautifully, “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”

Mary not only ordered the servants to do whatever Christ commanded them, she herself submitted perfectly to the will of God, having said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

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