2nd Sunday O.T. (C):
GOD & MAN: A HISTORY OF LOVE.
THE WEDDING AT CANA.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
These are the words we pray in the Responsorial Psalm of today’s Sunday liturgy wherein our Mother Church invites us to witness the Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ which commenced after His Baptism.
- The 1st reading taken from Isaiah 62:1–5 recounts God’s Love for His Chosen People, which is a prefiguration of the Church founded by His Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. As a young man chooses and marries his bride, of whom he rejoices, so does God chose and married His Bride, the Church, and rejoices in Her.
“You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem held by your God. No more shall people call you “Forsaken,” or your land “Desolate,” but you shall be called “My Delight,” and your land “Espoused.” For the Lord delights in you and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.”
- This passage is also a representation of God’s Saving work which is the fruit of His free and gratuitous choice without any merit from our part.
- This and other biblical texts from Osea and Jeremiah also suggest the spiritual marriage of the soul with God to which all of us are called to: the perfect union and intimacy with God. This has to be our principal goal and constant desire of our heart: that our soul be continuously united with God and His designs. All the rest should occupy a secondary importance and must be viewed through this perspective.
- The intimate relationship with God is the task of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. He is the Love between the Father and the Son and is responsible for giving the graces, gifts and charisms (2nd reading 1 Cor 12:4–11) to each individual in God’s Church. Graces and gifts which enable us to live as God’s children, identifying ourselves with Our Lord Jesus Christ and thus, walk along the path of holiness; and to carry out the specific mission each one has in God’s Church.
“Brothers and sisters: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another, the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another, mighty deeds; to another, prophecy; to another, discernment of spirits; to another, varieties of tongues; to another, interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.”
- Today’s Gospel recounts to us Jesus’ first miracle in His Public Life. In Cana of Galilee, Jesus publicly manifested his salvific signs through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, choosing a wedding ceremony as the setting. Later on, He would elevate Christian marriage as a sacramental sign of the union between Him and His Church, His Spouse.
- Jesus choice of a wedding ceremony to carry out his first public salvific sign is significant. He wishes to REMIND THE CHRISTIAN SPOUSES OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SACREDNESS OF THEIR MARRIAGE, AS A PATH TOWARDS HOLINESS AND THEIR MISSION TO BE CO-REDEEMERS OF THE SAVING ACTION OF GOD BY THEIR EXAMPLE OF LOVE AND FIDELITY AND BY THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN INTO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH, setting up Christian homes with them as sowers of love, joy and virtues. It is through the family where the first evangelization and redeeming action of Christ are implanted and spread through the Christian life of the spouses.
- Another significant detail worth underlining is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s role in the realization of Jesus’ first miracle during his public life, thus setting A FORMIDABLE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION OF THE CATHOLIC RECOURSE TO MARY in order to expedite Jesus’ response to our prayers. Mary knew who her Son is and what He can do and she trusted Him. Jesus Himself said that it wasn’t “his hour”, but as to second to His Mother’s plea, Jesus performed the miracle. Thus, we too, should have nothing to be worried about if we ask Our Lady’s help to “move” her Son’s heart, for that is what mothers are for: they always want their children to ask her help, and Mary, we should not forget, is our mother.
- But then, Our Lady wants us to “listen to what He tells you”. She wants OUR DOCILITY AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL for only then shall God perform miracles and wonders in us and through us.
- It is worthwhile to note as well Our Lady who, moved by pity, compassion and service to others was instrumental to the miracle of Cana. She noticed that wine was running out for she would have lent a hand during the banquet of the newlyweds. This teaches us to FOLLOW HER EXAMPLE IN HELPING OTHERS WHO ARE IN NEED so as to save them from suffering and/or embarrassment.
- Turning water into wine is no small miracle. Here we are talking about 500-700 litres (100-150 gallons) of top quality wine. St John stresses the MAGNIFICENCE of the gift produced by the miracle — as he also does at the multiplication of the loaves (Jn 6:12-13). MAGNIFICENCE or ABUNDANCE is one of the signs of the arrival of the Messiah and with this miracle, we have the fulfillment of one of the ancient prophecies: “the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase”, as Ps 85:12 proclaims; “the threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil” (Joel 2:24; cf. Amos 9:13-15).
- Such abundance of material goods reminds us that GOD IS A GENEROUS GIVER. HE GIVES US MORE THAT WHAT WE EXPECT IF IT IS FOR OUR GOOD, FOR HIS GLORY AND THE GOOD OS SOULS.
- It is also a SYMBOL OF THE SUPERNATURAL GIFTS CHRIST OBTAINS FOR US THROUGH THE REDEMPTION: later on St John highlights our Lord’s words: “I come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10; cf. Rom 5:20).
Dear friends, let us “Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations…Sing to the Lord; bless his name…give to the Lord glory and praise due his name!” for God has chosen us and rejoices in us like a young man chooses and marries his bride and rejoices in Her.
Let us thank God for He is abounding in steadfast love and who only wishes the true and eternal happiness for each one of His children.
Through the intercession of Our Lady who tells us “Do whatever He tells you”, may we learn to be docile to God’s will in every moment so that God could work in us and through us many wondrous deeds.
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***ADDENDUM: CATHOLIC INTERPRETATION OF
“Woman, how does your affect me?”***
Some may erroneously misinterpret Jesus’ response to Mary when he said to her: “Woman, how does your affect me?” as a lack of respect of Jesus to Mary. The Navarre Bible clarifies the meaning of the sentence:
- “WOMAN” IS A RESPECTFUL TITLE, RATHER LIKE “LADY” OR “MADAM”; IT IS A FORMAL WAY OF SPEAKING. On the Cross Jesus will use the same word with great affection and veneration (Jn 19:26).
- Whereas the sentence “WHAT HAS IT TO DO WITH YOU AND ME?” IS an oriental way of speaking which can have different nuances. JESUS’ REPLY SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT ALTHOUGH IN PRINCIPLE IT WAS NOT PART OF GOD’S PLAN FOR HIM TO USE HIS POWER TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM THE WEDDING-FEAST HAD RUN INTO, OUR LADY’S REQUEST MOVES HIM TO DO PRECISELY THAT. Also, one could surmise that God’s plan envisaged that Jesus should work the miracle at his Mother’s request. In any event, God willed that the Revelation of the New Testament should include this important teaching: so influential is our Lady’s intercession that God will listen to all petitions made through her; which is why Christian piety, with theological accuracy, has called our Lady “supplicant omnipotence”.
- “My hour has not yet come”: the term “hour” is sometimes used by Jesus to designate the moment of his coming in glory (cf. Jn 5:28), but generally it refers to the time of his Passion, Death and Resurrection (cf. Jn 7:30; 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).