In the East it is not uncommon to see people impoverish themselves for the rest of their lives in order to celebrate with magnificence the marriage of their children. 1 When we remember that in Eastern lands want of hospitality is regarded as one of the most shameful of vices, we shall understand that the difficulty caused by the sudden failure of the wine was no small matter, as it would be amongst us. But what was to be done ? To "order" more wine would have been quite out of the question. In Palestine, especially in a small place like Cana, where the facilities for transit were not abundant, a supply of wine would have had necessarily to be laid up in advance, if it were needed in any large quantities, and to have been stored in big water jugs or water skins, buried in the earth, so as to be at hand when required.
Therefore, either a lasting gloom would be cast over the wedding, or there must be a miraculous intervention. The thought of a miracle to be worked by her Divine Son came at once to the mind of Mary. Nor need this in any way surprise us. During the years of the Hidden Life of Christ, the Blessed Virgin lived in the closest state of mystic supernatural union with our Lord as God —but she also lived in the sacred intimacies of Nazareth united to Him naturally and ordinarily, as a mother is united to her son, in sympathy of heart, sharing His confidence. Surely, she was trusted with His counsels, so far as creature might be. Consequently it was no secret to her that, His public life once begun, miracles would confirm His Doctrine and prove His Godhead. But, that public life already was beginning. After His Baptism by John, which was its prelude, He had chosen His first disciples who were even then in His company. So there was no longer any reason why the Incarnate God should not now show forth His power. Mary knew that the Mission of her Divine Son had been declared by His Baptism and confirmed to the public by the Voice of the Eternal Father and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
1 In Egypt official reports arc often issued condemning the waste and exaggerated luxury indulged in by the native population in the celebration of their marriages—and the Government not seldom feels itself obliged to send out instructions on this subject to the people, enforcing economy and simplicity at weddings.