January 17, 2010 - II Sunday in Ordinary Time - C
The wedding in Cana
The wedding feast at Cana in Galilee touches us so much because we can identify with and feel for the young couple just married. In spite of their best calculations, during the wedding feast, the wine ran short. The bridegroom is exposed to a lot of embarrassment on the very day of his wedding. With a mother’s intuition, Mary sensed and discovered what the problem was. She immediately approached her Son, Jesus, and appealed to him to do something about it, saying: “They have no wine.” Jesus revealed his glory through his first great sign by changing water into wine.
The miracle of Cana is the transformation of water into ‘the best wine’. What was colourless and bland becomes colourful and sparkling, a source of joy and energy. Though we are free to apply the story to any experience of transformation, it is highly significant that the stone jars ‘meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews’; this is a transformation of the Jewish religion—it had become bland, self-centred, focused on personal purity. Now it is renewed and brings joy to others.
It is a common theme of the gospels that Jesus’ mission was to transform the religion of his time and make it more humane—‘the Sabbath is for human beings, not human beings for the Sabbath’. In Jesus’ parables the kingdom is often compared to a wedding feast. When the Pharisees complained that Jesus’ disciples did not fast, he answered that ‘the bridegroom was with them’. In contrast with John the Baptist, Jesus ‘comes eating and drinking’.
We are doing things as we always have done, relating with family, friends and fellow-workers as before. When we hear that the people around us have ‘no wine’, we see no reason why they should turn to us. Like Jesus, we say: ‘My hour has not yet come’. We are afraid to get involved; we like to remain in our comfort zone, untouched by the pain of others. So often we act as if this is not our concern.
Mary’s words to Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana are echoing in many countries today. Men and women have ‘no wine’ to share with their families, since the wine which nature provided for the festivals has all gone, plundered by the modern economy, industrial estates and misdirected projects.
Today, let us earnestly pray that we may receive God’s grace to enter into a new level of commitment, taking charge of the situation and answering the need, ‘transforming water into wine’, and become agents of social change.
The miracle at Cana
Through the miracle at Cana, Christ not only reveals his divine nature and origin, but (perhaps) also the truth of our own, human nature before the original sin. Wonderfully turning water into wine, and then multiplying the loaves, performing many healings, causing the resurrection of Lazarus, a young man of Naim and the daughter of Jairus, silencing a storm at sea ... All these miracles are certainly the revelation of the divine power of Christ, his divine Sonship. All these miracles show the power of Christ and the fullness of His power over the world, over matter, of life. In these we can see however, that Christ is “what the man used to be, what he had lost by original sin and what is ultimately our final vocation and destination”.
When God created the world, He gave all the power over the nature to the human. Nature has become subject to man in its entirety including the commandment "labour the earth". Nature was friendly to man and God involved man in the divine work of creation with the joy of a creator. This is the evil of the original sin, made the nature hostile to man, he had to tame it and extract from it the food in sweat." Work became a burden, nature has ceased to be and is no longer subordinate to man. Christ, then in his miracles also shows what is to be the sons of God.
But in the miracle of transforming the water into wine, we can see also something very human, something very familiar. Christ, the Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity does not avoid and rejects the "small, human problems." He participates in human joys, sorrows and problems of people trying to solve them. God is not distant and haughty, distant and indifferent to the small human problems.
In this event there is yet another moving moment. The Mother draws Son’s attention to the problem of the young couple. The mother -in a certain sense- urges her Son to intervene. She noticed what embarrassed the hosts and naturally asks the Son for help. After all, He is God, the Lord of heaven and earth, yet he certainly can deal with a difficult situation...
And one more thing, her words: "Do whatever He tells you..." If we only listen to her advice and do what her Son tells us...
It is worth to carefully read the passage from today’s Gospel. There are so many lessons for us, so many threads and a lot of wisdom...