John 2:1-12, Servant at the Wedding Banquet
Like many people, this is one of my all time, favorite passages — the wedding at Cana. One of the reasons I love it is because the miracle done in this story is so different from Jesus’ other miracles (or ‘signs’ as the author of John’s gospel calls them). Here Jesus does not heal, vanquish or cure anything ill or evil; he preserves what is good. By providing a surplus supply of wine (and really good wine), Jesus has preserved the dignity of the host and all his extended family.
Has anyone ever come to your rescue and saved your dignity? Saved you from having a number of people witness a very personal and oh so public fiasco? The thing about dignity is that it knows no social, economic, gender or ethnic barriers. Some of the poorest people are the most dignified. And some of the richest people lack any form of dignity. Many people confuse dignity with respect but they are not the same. Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings; everyone is born with it. Respect, on the other hand, is something that is earned through our actions.
We all have a deep, human desire to be treated as something of value and Jesus understood and demonstrated that more than anyone else. This Lenten season, let us commitment to honoring other peoples’ dignity in whatever way we can and in the process, we’ll also strengthen our own.