The Wedding Feast at Cana: John 2:1-11
Mary is here at the feast. It was through her sensitive awareness that Jesus came to know about the bridegroom’s predicament. In this story, she is not only the mother of Jesus; she also represents the Church.
It is through the Christian community that Jesus comes to us. It is through the Church, through our brothers and sisters in the community, that we learn about the life that God in Jesus wants us to enjoy and share with him and others we meet. I join the guests at the wedding festivities in Cana. Mary, a relative or friend from nearby Nazareth, is keeping a motherly eye on proceedings. Jesus, who enjoyed social occasions, reaches out to everybody.
I note the mutual respect between Mother and Son, Mary not exercising her role as mother but placing herself at his service. He addresses her as “woman”, a title of honour that he will repeat when he addresses her as she standis at the foot of the cross with John, “Woman, here is your son” (John 19:26).
The meaning of this first sign comes at the end: “his disciples believed in him“. There are many clear allusions to the Eucharist here. Table-fellowship is at the heart of Christian life.
There are incidents in the written narrative about Jesus where the fact of who he really is, is signalled in unmistakeable gesture to a large audience. The heavenly manifestations at his baptism in the Jordan are one such incident. So was the recognition of his Lordship at his birth by the wise men representing the East. And another – from Jesus himself – is the replenishment of the wine for the large crowd of wedding guests in this scripture passage from John’s Gospel.
A banquet – and the free flow of wine – was always, for the people of God, a figure of the total fulfilment and happiness which would mark the Lord’s final future coming. His overflowing generosity is always available to us.
Jesus reveals his glory, but not through a TV campaign or emails. He goes to a wedding. He likes to celebrate God’s wonderful gift of marriage. He also takes the opportunity to reveal the abundance of God’s grace. He is saying: ‘My wedding gift to you is two hundred gallons of God’s love’!
Lord, we thank you for good marriages. We thank you for the wonder of faithful, unconditional love shown by husband and wife, parents and grandparents. This fidelity powerfully reflects the quality of your love for us all.