Read Isaiah 62:1-5, Ps. 96:1-3,7-10, 1 Cor. 12:4-11, John 2:1-11
“When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.’” (John 2:9-10)
It is quite interesting that just last Sunday, we celebrated the first mystery of light; the baptism of Jesus where God announced Jesus as His beloved Son to the whole world. Today, we are celebrating the second mystery of light; the self-revelation of Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana where Jesus worked his very first miracle at the request of Mary his Mother thereby announcing His Divinity to the whole world. God the Father played such a vital role in revealing Jesus at His Baptism. Mary his Mother would play a key role in revealing Jesus at the Wedding Feast. There are indeed countless lessons to learn from today’s readings but we shall pick a few.
1. The Beauty of Marriage in God’s Plan for Humanity
Today’s event took place at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. There were many people waiting to hear God’s words, many waiting for healing from sicknesses and diseases, many suffering under various attacks and oppression of demons, Jesus left everything else and went to attend a wedding! This teaches us how much God values the institution of marriage. The fact that Jesus worked his first miracle at a Wedding again speaks volumes of God’s desire for happy marriages. As Jesus would tell us: “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh… What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:6-9). Marriage is good. Marriage is very important to God.
2. The Symbolic Meaning of Jesus’ Presence at the Wedding Feast
In today’s first reading today, we hear the prophet Isaiah saying: “You shall be a crown of beauty… no more forsaken…you land married…as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Beyond being an invited guest, Jesus’ presence at the wedding feast at Cana was a practical fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy wherein God himself is the Bridegroom rejoicing over us His Bride. Our relationship with God is nothing short of a marital union. As the groom desires the good of the bride so does God desire our good. Again, as the groom finds joy in the bride so does God rejoice over us. In fact, St. Augustine rightly puts it when he said: “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in God” meaning that only God, our groom can truly give us joy.
3. The Shortage of Wine
For Jesus and His Mother to have been invited to a wedding feast, meant the couple prepared adequately. We must learn from this couple to always invite Jesus into everything we do. Jesus is our greatest security. While the presence of Jesus did not prevent the wine from running out, it prevented the shortage of wine from becoming an embarrassment. This is an important lesson. Being a Christian does not make you immune from problems in life, rather, it assures you of victory regardless of what life may throw at you.
The shortage of wine at a wedding feast had a deep meaning in the culture of that time. It was a bad omen, a sign of marital unhappiness, and a cause for ridicule and shame from the community. The shortage of wine represents our human imperfections, weaknesses we have to struggle with, and sad times that must come. It also represents frictions in marital relationships; moments of quarrels, fighting, and disagreement. Today, we pray for marriages whose wine has run out; unhappy marriages, and marriages on the verge of a breakdown. We pray that as Jesus provided wine for this marriage that He would restore joy and peace to your marriage; that things would begin to work for your good.
4. The Power of Mary’s Intercession
From the statement of the steward, we can rightly say that not many guests were aware that the wine ran out. Mary, who was probably working in the kitchen knew that the only way to salvage the situation was to demand a miracle from her son Jesus. She said to Him: “They have no wine.” Jesus who was not in the habit of refusing a request from his mother protested. “Woman, my hour has not yet come.” Mary insisted. According to Fr. Fernandez, “Why do Mary’s prayers have such efficacy before God? The prayers of saints are the prayers of servants, whereas those of Mary are the prayers of a Mother, whence they receive their efficacy and authoritative character. As Jesus’ love for his mother is limitless, she cannot ask for anything without being heard.” This is why we often ask Mary to intercede on our behalf.
Mary simply instructed the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.” This statement of Mary is the last word we get to hear from Mary in the Bible and it is a Gospel truth. So long as we do whatever Jesus tells us, we are assured of great miracles. Every sin is an act of disobedience, a rebellion against the authority of God and its consequence is death (Romans 6:23). If we don’t do what Jesus tells us, we cannot enjoy the gifts he bestows on us. Of course, it is so easy to do what Jesus tells us. In this case, the servants knew they needed wine and Jesus told them to: “Fill the jars with water.” The commandments of God are just like that, sometimes, they don’t make sense to us but if we trust and obey like these servants, we are sure to receive great miracles.
5. Do Not Be Stingy With Your Gifts.
As usual, the wedding guests must have come with gifts for this couple but the greatest gift they received that day was that of Jesus Christ who turned water into wine thereby saving them from embarrassment. Jesus did not give them ordinary (cheap) wine, He gave them the best wine as the steward confessed. In today’s second reading, St. Paul tells us: “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). Each of us has special gifts and talents. No one is completely useless. Mary’s gift is empathy; the ability to put herself in the shoes of those in need and rush to their help. Our world would be a better place if we make efforts to discover and employ our gifts for the common good. Do not be stingy. Help others and people will help you when you are in need.
In the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus revealed his true identity as God who has power over the whole of creation. By agreeing to turn water into wine at a wedding, Jesus, who (during His temptations), refused to turn stones to bread teaches us the importance of marriage, his love for us as our Groom, and his respect for Mary his Mother. Jesus gave the couple the gift of a miracle teaching us to generously offer ourselves as gifts to others.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, we invite you into our marriages especially those that have run out of wine, restore love and trust in unhappy marriages, heal the wounds of unforgiveness and help them resolve their differences. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Isaiah 62:1-5, Ps. 96:1-3,7-10, 1 Cor. 12:4-11, John 2:1-11).