The Wedding at Cana
Reflection on the Gospel of the Second Sunday In Ordinary Time(Vocation Sunday)
Water into Wine
Something ordinary such as water was turned into rich wine… What would you have thought about this unbelievable event if you were one of the guests at the wedding? What would you think of Jesus? This event has not been recorded in the other three Gospels but for the Gospel writer John, this event is extremely significant. John records this event as a the ‘First Sign’ performed by Jesus. It’s critical to note that John deliberately doesn’t record this event as the ‘First Miracle’ performed by Jesus. Just as a sign points out or shows a particular direction, Jesus converting water into wine is an extraordinary Sign that points out to the divinity of Jesus i.e. He is able to convert water into wine because He is God. The Gospel writer John will continue to reveal the true identity of Jesus with many more of these Signs.
Marriage signifies a covenantal love, a relationship of gifting oneself to the spouse so that the two become one. In a Jewish marriage wine represented the fruitfulness of this covenantal love. Running out of wine during the wedding feast would therefore be seen more significantly as a bad omen for a fruitless marriage rather than just an embarrassment. The vocation of marriage is a challenging one, the wine may easily run out when covenantal love is diluted with watery secular love. And it is only the divine love of Jesus that will able to sustain the fruitful rich covenantal love of marriage renewing it into rich wine.
Jesus himself becomes the bridegroom for His bride, the Church. He has already gifted His life to us by His loving sacrifice and He longs for each one of us to be united to Him in sacred covenantal love. Jesus is aware that just as marriage involves challenges, living the Christian life isn’t easy either. Through the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Jesus sustains us, He gifts Himself to us. He showed us that if water was transformed into wine, He can transform bread and wine into His body and blood the same way at every Eucharist. He gifts Himself to us, to strengthen us, to prepare us for that final wedding feast in the Eternal Kingdom where we will be united in Him always.
Do we recognize Jesus as the sovereign God of our lives? Do we believe that He can transform our lives from ordinary water into fruitful rich wine?