John 2: 1 – 11
We have moved from the joy of the Christmas season into the ‘ordinary’ time of the year, though there is nothing ordinary about the miracle Jesus worked at Cana.
Imagine the embarassment of the young couple when they learn that the wine has run out. We must remember that a wedding feast in the Jewish tradition took place over a number of days. It’s not the one day event we are used to in Ireland or most parts.
People won’t remember this wedding for the beautiful bride or the wonderful food. No! It will be remembered as the wedding where the wine ran out!
The Church views marriage as a Holy Sacrament that invites a man and a woman to mirror the love of Christ for his Church. The prophet Isaiah in the First Reading saw it all when he wrote: ’As the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will God rejoice in you’. ACCORD, the Irish Catholic marriage care service, calls their marriage preparation programme: ‘Marriage: a journey not a destination’. And the sacrament of marriage reminds us that this journey is best walked in the presence of the Lord, who as St. John says, is love itself. God has a special interest in the couple’s happiness.
In taking up the theme of a wedding in the gospel today, John the evangelist presents not only Jesus’ first miracle but he calls it a ‘sign’, as he does all the other miracles in his gospel. For John the miracle of Cana is a sign that points beyond itself to a much deeper meaning. This is the new creation and we share it. Jesus is replacing the old Jewish religious rites with the new wine which is himself. It is the best wine that is saved until now.
What Jesus did at Cana was not a once-off thing. It pointed to what would happen all through his ministry. The changing of water into wine is a symbol of what he was about. Everywhere he went the old is made new. For the widow at Nain whose son had died and whom Jesus raised up again to life, he changed tears into joy. For the thief on Calvary he changed despair into hope. And on Easter morning he changed death into life.
Like the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, there was at Cana a superabundance of wine. Not a stingy or small amount as some humans might give out but God’s lavish generosity. It is saying that our God is a God of life, life that is abundant, and still more and more abundant life that we call eternal. It begins now, according to St. John, but will reach its fulness in eternity.
If Jesus can change something like water into wine as a sign of his love for the young couple, can he not change us too into the kind of people that we are called to be?
Do you believe this?
Do you offer yourself to him for this transformation or change?
After all, isn’t this what we celebrate each time at the Transformation or Consecration of the Mass?
We believe that God through his Holy Spirit changes parts of creation like bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
Pray that God can do the same with other parts of creation, you and me, to be better persons, better members of his family
He can use us, working together in the community of disciples, to make our world a better place.
Lord God, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, may I become more and more in the image of Jesus your Son. And may I help make this world more in the image in which you created it. Amen.