Do you remember the Gospel passage in which Jesus was a guest at a wedding in Cana of Galilee?  It must have been a festive occasion because the wine was gone before the celebration was over.  The Blessed Mother told Jesus about the problem and He came up with a marvelous solution.  At His instruction, six stone jars were filled with   water.  Then some was drawn out and taken to the head waiter.  He tasted it and then said to the groom: “People usually serve the choice wine first, then a lesser vintage.  What you have done is keep the choice wine until now.”

It is not my intention here to try to explain the miracle in this story.  What I want to do is to call your attention to the comment of the head waiter, because it symbolizes the life that Jesus both lived and taught.  He always served the lesser vintage first and the choice wine later.  In other words, His way of living moves upward, from the good, to the better, toward the best.  And yet for so many people today, life seems to move in the opposite direction, not up, but down.

It has been my observation in life that when God is taken out of the process of life, it is all downhill.  That, I am convinced, is why our society is so obsessed with youth.  Nobody wants to get old, because everybody thinks life belongs primarily to the young.  So, in a sense they drink the choice wine first and finish up on a lesser vintage.

For example, I wonder if there is a husband or wife who is having the same experience in their marriage.  They can remember a time when life was filled with courtesy, with kindness, with warmth and affection.  They could sit across from each other in a crowded room and make eye contact that spoke volumes without saying a word.  Now, most of that is gone.  Could that cold voice be the same voice that was so tender not so many years ago?

It is plain to see what has happened to that marriage.  They served and drank the choice wine first.  But they did not allow God to replenish the supply and that good wine ran out.  Now they are surviving on a lesser vintage.

The truly sad thing about this kind of experience is that it doesn’t have to happen.  Life does not have to be a process of decline and decay.  We all have to get old.  Nothing can keep us from that unless, of course, we die young. 

 We do have to get old.  But we don’t have to get bitter or turn sour.  Old age with it’s failing health and financial strain can be and often is difficult.  But it can also be good.  A seventy-five-year-old man said to a young boy, “I have learned two things about life:  one, that it gets harder and harder, and the other, that it gets better and better.”

Marriages change with passing of time.  That is inevitable.  But they do not have to change from good to bad.  They can change with God’s grace from good to better on their way to the best.

I heard a story about an elderly man in Dallas, Texas, who supplemented his social security by giving golf lessons.  He was past eighty, and his wife of sixty years was about the same age.  She sits in a chair nearby as he works with his student.  Her mind is almost gone ad she is like a child again.  He bathes her, and feeds her, and watches her constantly lest she wander away and gets lost.

To the casual observer, she must seem to be a terrible inconvenience.  But she doesn’t seem that way to him because he loves her.  He said to himself, “If I had my life to live over, there are some things I would change and do differently.  But whatever changed, one thing would stay the same – I would do it all again with the same woman.”

Whatever our role in life may happen to be – married, single, rich, poor, young, old, – if we go with Jesus and do it his way, we can truthfully say: “The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made.”