In March 2019, Ed and I travelled to the Holy Land. Going to Cana in Galilee was one of the top three places on our list.
The church in Cana was small. In the entrance, there was a display case with one of the stone water jars found during an excavation. Looking at the jar that was more than 2,000 years old was thrilling. We were standing where Jesus stood and performed his first miracle for a married couple at the request of his Blessed Mother.
Our Franciscan priest had the married couples gather around the altar. I wore my mother’s lace mantilla. This is where we renewed our marriage vows while my mom’s favorite song, “Ave Maria,” played mysteriously somewhere in the church. “Ave Maria” was played at our wedding. It felt as if my mom was with us.
At Cana, Mary said, “Do whatever he tells you.” She is still saying that now. Ed and I believed that if we did what Jesus told us to do, then we would be like the old pots that were filled with water. When we poured out the water by living out our sacrament of matrimony and sharing it with other couples, then our water became wine. Wow! The idea that Ed and I were the old water pots makes me smile. It’s easier to believe you are an old water pot. Ed and I were simple old water pots, yet Jesus used us to pour wine into many couples’ marriages throughout our marriage.
Until Jesus invites me to come be with my beloved Ed, I will keep filling my water pot with water, praying that Jesus can still use me to turn my water into wine that can touch widows, couples and the children of God.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a heart attack on Aug. 1, 2020. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter in-person and virtual enrichment weekends, visit www.wwme.org. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.