12. Jan, 2019

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

They Have No Wine

In the Gospel we are presented with the beautiful scene of the wedding feast of Cana from the first days of Jesus’ public ministry. As you recall last week we heard how Jesus only revealed who he was when he was baptised in the Jordan by John.

It is very interesting that the first public event that Jesus attends after his Baptism is a wedding. This draws to our attention to how much marriage is a part of God’s plan for our world and for our society. The covenant of marriage represents the beginnings of the new life of a new family.

We hear a parallel story in the 1st reading. Isaiah tells us that when the Messiah comes he will show that God loves his people like a bridegroom loves his bride. The wedding of Cana anticipates the fulfillment of this nuptial prophesy when Jesus espouses his bride on the Cross and where his love is consummated by the physical outpouring of his Blood. This is the hour Jesus refers to in the Gospel.

This marriage between Christ and Christ’s Church is also a covenant that brings new life. As we draw parallels let’s consider how the changing of water to wine was a sign of this life sealed by the outpouring of Jesus’ Blood.

  • Although his ‘hour had not yet come,’ the changing of the water to wine alludes to the change necessary to consummate the new covenant. And Jesus provides this sign in abundance.

Remember at the last supper Jesus said he would not drink wine again until “I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matthew 26:29)? He said this following the words of institution that had changed the wine into his Precious Blood. This ‘changed wine’ now symbolises God’s Love. It is a memorial of the Blood Jesus poured out on the Cross. And just as the Love shown by Jesus was excessive, the wine of Cana was a sign of that excessive Love.

The readings are deeply theological and symbolic. Jesus changed water into wine as a sign of God’s excessive Love. Only such an excess of Love later sealed by the Blood of Christ, can bring forth new life in our families, our society, the Church, and ultimately, the new life of God’s kingdom. Without God’s Spirit of Love our covenant relationships will not survive. That's the point. We depend on God to sanctify our relationships so here I’d like to introduce to you a new prayer:

LORD JESUS CHRIST,

SON OF THE FATHER,

SEND NOW YOUR SPIRIT

OVER THE EARTH.

LET THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVE

IN THE HEARTS OF ALL NATIONS,

THAT THEY MAY BE PRESERVED

FROM DEGENERATION, DISASTER AND WAR.

MAY THE LADY OF ALL NATIONS,

THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY,

BE OUR ADVOCATE.

AMEN.