This is my second painting in the Bridal Mysticism series that is currently in progress. It is entitled "Wedding at Cana." These paintings are very personal and very real in terms of how they've been experienced. To recap, these images are born out of my experience with the Ignatian exercises. (Look below for the specific passage of scripture).
Not everyone prays in the same way. I think that is why there are so many different books on prayer and ways to pray. I think God comes to us in ways that we can uniquely understand. He comes and speaks to me in my language. He comes to you and speaks in your language. He has introduced me in recent years to the possibilities of prayer and the imagination. As I insert myself into a gospel scene and observe Jesus living His life, I become more intrigued with both His divinity and His humanity. In this scene, I watch Him as He attends a Jewish wedding near his hometown. I imagine Jesus growing up with this couple, knowing each of them as uniquely separate and celebrating their coming together. His mother watched this couple grow up, shared silly growing up stories with their family and had many memories together.
I'm curious about this couple and where they stood later, when Jesus returned to his hometown and they did not receive him. In fact, the people of his home town looked for a way to kill him. Did he have anyone that defended him there besides his immediate family? Perhaps this couple remembered his first public miracle that took place the day they were married, right before their eyes.
I have visited this scene several times. I love coming back here and walking around, seeing the bridal procession and the close friends and family celebrating such a happy time. I watch Jesus, as he wears affection and admiration on his face. He is deeply connected with these people. When I visit, we talk, we dance, we drink really amazing wine. We have conversations about life, people, callings, vocation, what is making me sad, what is kindling energy like fire in me. It is this way of praying, for me that I can sense the most, His affection for me and His hopes for me.
2 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.