2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Prophet Isaiah (62:1-5) compares the intimate relationship between God and his people with that of a bride and bridegroom. The people are a crown of splendor and delight to God, and God is their defender. In other words, it is an expression of the tremendous love of God for his people. From the time of prophet Hosea, the relationship between God and Israel has been described as a marriage. Israel was often unfaithful to God, but God relented and took her back. Here the prophet foretells an ever more glorious restoration – God and Israel shall be like newlyweds again.
The gospel (John 2:1-12) is another expression of God’s wonderful love and blessing at marriage. The wedding at Cana symbolizes the new age as our first reading suggests. The miracle of changing water into wine was a sign of new age. It is interesting to note the details in John’s description of the event. Jesus told the waiters to fill the stone jars which were used to keep water for the ritual purification. They were empty materially and spiritually. They contained no water – material emptiness, and the ritual purification had no inner effect-spiritual emptiness. Jesus changes the water into wine – symbolic of the new age. He purifies us with his own blood. At the wedding he changes water into wine. At the Eucharist he changes the wine we offer into his own blood, to give life.
Christian life is centered around Jesus. Prayer and worship leads to life. As St. Paul reminds us in the second reading, each one of us is enriched by various gifts. We have our own abilities, talents and opportunities. But our uniqueness and differences should not make us individualistic, alienating from one another. Whatever gifts and talents we may have, they are all God’s gifts, and he wants us to use them all for His glory and for the good of our fellow men and women.
Few points stand out clearly in this wedding event.
(1) Mary’s concern for the host. She shared the concern of the host and took the step to find a solution to the embarrassing situation.
(2) Her faith in Jesus. She knew that Jesus could remedy the situation. It is evident in her words to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”
(3) Jesus’ immediate action, asking the servers to “Fill the jars with water.” And then, “Draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.”
(4) The amazing result. What was poured into the jars was plain water. What was taken out was wine par excellence. Jesus not only saved the host from embarrassment and a bad name, but also brought good name, and surprised the head waiter.
(5) Jesus revealed his glory. It indirectly was the opening ceremony of his mission – the mission he came to accomplish – to save us from shame, embarrassment and final damnation.
(6) The disciples began to believe in him. The disciples continue to believe in him.
He continues to work the same miracle for us, to save us. Today he changes the wine into his own blood. He serves us to be nourished by his body and blood, to be purified of our sinfulness which brings shame and disgrace for us. He glorifies us. I do believe.