The Wedding at Cana
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master 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 master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brethren and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
In the Traditional calendar of the Holy Mother Church, Sunday’s Gospel reading comes from John 2: 1-12. Called the Fourth Gospel, it is probably the most beautifully written of the Four Gospels. From the opening line, we are taken back to the Old Testament and the Book of Genesis. Both start with the line, “In the beginning…” But whereas the Book of Genesis reveals the story of mankind’s pride and disobedience which lead to sin, the 2nd Gospel of John reveals the story of holiness and redemption. By obeying His Mother, Jesus brings forth the manifestation of His divine nature, thus embarking on the path that would lead to man’s salvation.
The correlations between the Old and New Testament doesn’t end there. When Jesus turns the water in wine, it reminds us of Moses, who turned water into blood.
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood.’ Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in vessels of wood and stone.”
20) Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21) The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.
This was Moses first sign, or plague, that was sent from God so that the Egyptian Pharaoh would let His people go. This sign, sent from God, through Moses, was to let the Israelites know that with Him, they would be free. When Jesus obeyed His Mother and turned the water into wine, it also represents to us, that Jesus, Who is God made Man, came to free His people, once again. This action, of turning the water into wine was symbolic in the anticipation that Jesus would take the waters, which represent life, and turn them into wine which represents joy… that Jesus would later take wine and turn it into eternal life…eternal joy … by turning it into His Blood during the Last Supper…It was then that Jesus would turn the Bread and wine into His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist, thus giving Himself to the world, as the Perfect Sacrifice.
This Gospel is filled with so much symbolism and foreshadowing that it is worth reading and meditating upon the entire Gospel of John. As I conclude this post, there is one final point that I want to address, and that is the importance of Mary’s role in all of it. Her role is that of Co- Redemptix for all of mankind. It begins with her Immaculate Conception in the womb of her mother, Ann, and continues right on until Jesus is hanging on the Cross, uttering His Last Words to John, “Behold thy Mother.”
Theology teaches us that Mary knew from the moment of her conversation with Gabriel…from Her Yes... Her fiat… that her heart would be pierced, because she had the foreknowledge that Jesus was going to suffer immeasurable pain and be put to death on The Cross for the salvation of mankind. Yet, here we are, witnessing Mother and Son, as guests at a wedding party, celebrating the joyous occasion. Jesus’ hour has not yet come.
The wedding party has run out of wine, and Mary, feeling a sense of compassion for the young couple, prompts Her Son, Jesus, to do something. She does this knowing full well that it will fulfill a part of the Epiphany promise that Christ’s Divine Nature would have to be revealed to mankind, in essence, this action would begin His walk towards Calvary. Knowing all of this, Mary does it anyway, embracing the Cross that would surely follow. Unlike Jesus Who is Divine, Mary is purely human. In body, and in Nature. She is just like one of us…except that She was Immaculately Conceived, but She is still a Mother…a mother who suffers and feels pain, and she is doing what God wants of her…leading her Son, the New Adam, on His path to redeem what our first parents had lost in the garden of Eden. It must have filled Her heart with sorrow and pain…knowing….what lie ahead, but still humbly obeying the Will of God. Let us pray:
Dear Lord, You prepared the Blessed Mother for Her role in the salvation of man, by keeping her spotless from the moment of her conception. Even though we are marked by the stain of sin, Help us, as we seek to follow her example of humility, so that we may imitate Her love and obedience and place our Trust in You Oh Lord. We ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.