Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 62:1-5, Psalm 96: 1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, & John 2:1-11
I begin by pointing out that in the Gospel's entirety of Saint John, Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned only twice. First, in today's narrative, at the wedding feast in Cana, which began our Lord's public ministry, and second at the crucifixion, which ended His public ministry. I consider this is a way of telling us that Mary was not only the mother of Jesus but that she was actively involved with her Son in the work of our redemption.
The changing of water to wine is Jesus' first public miracle which signifies the inaugural sign of God's presence in the world. John relates the structure of the miracle beautifully in the setting at a wedding feast, where a need arises with the run out of wine, and the miracle that addresses the need with water is transformed into choice wine, followed by the response to the miracle in which the people came to believe in Him. We must not forget that Mary begins the entire series of events by approaching her Son, telling Him, "They have no wine." Our Lord then responds to the request.
In the time of Jesus, a wedding feast celebration, in most circumstances, could last up to a week, which equated to vast amounts of food, drink, and entertainment needed for the guests. To run out of food and wine would have created a considerable embarrassment to the bride's family. Mary knew this, as did Jesus. Our Lord seizes the opportunity to begin His public ministry by performing His first miracle.
Our Lord requests the servants to fill the stone jars with water and bring a sample to the chief steward. By the time the chief steward tastes it, the water had become choice wine. Precisely when the miracle occurs is a mystery. The chief steward didn't know where the wine came from, while the lowly servants did. Knowing Jesus as the wellspring of abundance makes them an "insider" within the community of believers, even if their social status prevents them from ever breaking into a loftier social circle.
The steward assumes it came from the bridegroom of the wedding, but for John, the real bridegroom present at the wedding is Jesus. The bridegroom who served the best wine, Jesus, has appeared, ushering into the world God's abundant goodness and grace in an absolute way. The miracle centers on abundant wine because it is symbolic of God's presence in the world.
Friends, the final verse of John's narrative tells us the miracle of Cana is the first of Jesus' numerous signs. It revealed His Glory, which impacted His disciples, who saw Him in a new light. The miracle symbolized the abundance of God's blessings and new life present through Jesus, whose salvation and liberation transform the world yesterday, today, and forever.
Question of the Day: How can you identify signs of God's abundance in your life and within your community of faith?
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you for the message of your servant Saint John. His wisdom and insight bring forth the ministry of Your Son, our Lord Jesus, who fills our lives with His love. Amen.