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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Wedding at Cana

John Chapter 2
Narrator: Anya, a Jewish paesant woman of the time of Jesus

Story N. 4 (see previous posts)

Anya is returning home with her load of fruit and the fish that Simon has given to her.
“Make a good soup for your men”, he had said. “You people need a good meal to get ready for the trip.”
Anya had told him that she and her family had been invited to a wedding at Cana, three days from now. On that occasion Heli will announce his engagement: He’s getting married too. Anya is delighted. She knows that, with a wife and a baby soon on the way, her son won’t think of joining the rebels anymore.
He and his father refused to be baptized by John because he was preaching peace and repentance. They don’t believe in peace, they hate the Romans. But now Heli has something else to think about. It’s time for him to be on his own. Jewish people are expected to marry before their twentieth birthday and Heli is eighteen. It seems only yesterday that he was a toddler! Anya suffered a lot during childbirth and didn’t have other children after Heli was born. She wonders what she’s going to do with her life once her son will be gone. Neri is usually in the fields till dusk and he couldn’t fill her life anymore anyway.
Anya isn’t sad but restless. She is searching for something, but she doesn’t know what.

Three days later, at the wedding, Anya’s thoughts have shifted. It’s a joyful moment and she doesn’t have a worry in the world. From a distance, she and Neri are looking at their son holding hands with his fiancĂ©e. Fantasying about grandchildren Anya goes for a stroll in the courtyard, and unexpectedly Jesus appears before her eyes. Simon and his other disciples are surrounding him. Once again Anya is struck by a strong emotion. In the crowd, he alone seems to be moving harmoniously, as if in unison with the wind, the singing of the birds and the laughter of young people in love. Anya is filled with expectation. Something incredible is going to happen because of this man and she wants to be part of it.
“Simon!’ she calls. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were coming? We could have traveled together!”
“We were invited at the last minute by Jesus’ mother. We came with her. But look, Anya! The wine that people are drinking… it was water, and Jesus turned it into wine! I saw it happening!”
Anya smiles, incredulous. But she takes the cup that Simon is offering her and pours the exquisitely refreshing liquid down her throat. It tastes wonderful and all of a sudden she feels buoyant. I can do anything I want, she thinks, I just drank Yahweh’s nectar. She looks for Jesus in the crowd and there he is, smiling. She had never seen him smiling before. It’s as if the entire world is rejoicing with him. She takes Simon’s hand and starts dancing around him, laughing.
“You are acting crazy, woman,” he says.
‘Oh, you are going to see a lot more of it,” she answers. “From now on I’ll be at the beach every day. I want to listen to everything Jesus has to say. If he turned water into wine he can give me a new life!”
Simon looks troubled. “We are not going to be at the beach. Anya. Jesus is going to travel and preach all around Galilee and maybe further. We‘ll leave soon”
Anya stands still for a few moments, petrified. She wants to ask why Jesus has decided to be on the road, but deep down she knows. More people need to see him and listen to his words.
“And you are going with him?” she finally asks. “What about your family?”
“I know,” Simon answers, “It’s a hard decision. But I must follow him. He’s the Messiah. I’ve been waiting for him all my life.”

Lowering her head Anya walks away. A shadow has settled upon her heart and a hint of desperation is lurking in the back of her mind. But she smiles bravely. After all, her son just got engaged. Instinctively she looks for her husband and finds him in the garden, talking to a stranger. As soon as he sees her Neri interrupts the conversation and takes her arm, leading her away. Anya gazes at him.
“Soon enough it’s going to be just you and me,” she says.
We have to talk, Anya,” he answers. “I’m afraid that you’ll have to get used to be on your own most of the time. Now that I don’t have to worry about Heli following me, I’ve made up my mind. I’m going to join the rebels.”


Manny said...

I'm definitely engaged with your story. That was a really good scene at the wedding. I have to say, this sentence grabbed my attention completely: "In the crowd, he alone seems to be moving harmoniously, as if in unison with the wind, the singing of the birds and the laughter of young people in love." I can't think of a better sentence that I've seen to describe Jesus.

Antonella said...

Thank you so much. I don't deserve such a positive comment. I try so hard to come up with something to describe Jesus, but I'm never satisfied.