Jar6This week we conclude our reflection on the Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2:1-11) where Jesus performed His first miracle. He changed ordinary water into an abundance of extraordinary wine.

In Scripture wine symbolizes joy! Jesus wants you to know life-producing joy in your marriage: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). So how can you receive this grace that Jesus wishes to pour into your marriage?

We propose that, just as there were six stone jars at Cana, there are six “jars” which we need to fill with water (our efforts) so that Jesus can turn it into wine.

In the preceding posts, we have discussed “Follow Christ,” “Read Scripture,” “Receive the Eucharist,” “Pray Together” and “Form Community.” This week we will “fill” the final stone jar: “Forgive Each Other.”

Unforgiveness blocks God’s grace. Unresolved conflict and hurt are damaging to relationships. Ask God to give you the grace to see how you may have hurt your spouse in the past. Accept responsibility for your actions and ask your spouse for forgiveness.

Sin blocks the grace that God wants to pour out through the Sacrament of Marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Every man experiences evil around him and within himself. This experience makes itself felt in the relationships between man and woman. Their union has always been threatened by discord, a spirit of domination, infidelity, jealousy, and conflicts that can escalate into hatred and separation. (CCC 1606)

The Catechism also says…

To heal the wounds of sin, man and woman need the help of the grace that God in his infinite mercy never refuses them. Without his help man and woman cannot achieve the union of their lives for which God created them. (CCC 1608)

Why is forgiveness so important in your marriage? To receive God’s grace! Scripture has much to say about forgiveness…

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you… (Mt 6:14)

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (Jas 5:16)

Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. (Eph 4:32)

Pope St. John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World) stresses the importance of the sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist in developing family unity…

In particular, participation in the sacrament of Reconciliation and in the banquet of the one Body of Christ offers to the Christian family the grace and the responsibility of overcoming every division and of moving towards the fullness of communion willed by God, responding in this way to the ardent desire of the Lord: “that they may be one (Jn 17: 21).” (FC 21)

Ask for God’s grace to forgive!

To experience the grace of forgiveness, we encourage you to complete the following “Forgiveness Exercise” together as a couple.

Forgiveness Exercise

Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (Jas 5:16)

Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. (Eph 4:32)

Examination of Conscience (5 Minutes)

Spend time in prayer. Ask God to reveal the ways you have hurt your spouse by the things that you have done or failed to do. This includes being selfish, critical, insensitive, disrespectful, ungrateful, unfaithful and unforgiving.

Ask Forgiveness (10 minutes)

Once you have identified the ways you have hurt your spouse, come together to seek and extend forgiveness. The husband should go first. After listing the ways he has hurt his wife, he asks for forgiveness. The wife forgives her husband. Then the wife lists the ways she has hurt her husband and asks him for forgiveness. The husband forgives his wife.

Resolve to Sin No More

Once you have forgiven each other you should state your intention to not sin against each other again.

(Name of spouse), I am deeply sorry for having hurt you and for offending God who is within you. I firmly resolve with the help of God’s grace to not sin against you or to intentionally hurt you again.

Tapping into Grace

God gives us grace through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go to reconciliation and ask God to forgive you for the ways that you have hurt your spouse. In this sacrament, you receive forgiveness, as well as the grace to forgive each other.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)


Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us. Lord as we invite you to become the center of our marriage, give us the grace and desire to serve each other, so nothing can divide us. We ask for words both kind and loving, and for hearts always ready to ask for forgiveness as well as to forgive. Dear Lord, we put our marriage into your hands. Amen.

In this series, we talked about three lessons that can be learned from Cana:

  1. Marriage is a Sacrament.
  2. God wants to pour abundant grace on your marriage.
  3. Obedience unlocks God’s grace.

In addition, we presented six ways, or stone jars, to help you tap into God’s grace.

We’d like to conclude this series with a quote from Pope Francis when he spoke of the graces received from the Wedding Feast at Cana…

What happened at Cana two thousand years ago happens in reality at every wedding feast. It is the presence of the Lord, who reveals Himself and the gift of His grace that will render your marriage full and profoundly true. (February 14, 2014)

May your marriage be filled with God’s abundant grace and joy!

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. (2 Pt 1:2)

Wedding Feast at Cana