2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 62:1-5 II:
1 On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;
2 Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.
3 When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
4 And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
6 Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
8 He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it.
9 When the steward 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 steward of the feast called the bridegroom
10 and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men 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 Caper'na-um, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days.
- John's Gospel, a book of signs, is in many ways a Christian Genesis, a story of re-creation. The miracle at Cana is referred to as the first of Jesus' "signs" that leads His disciples to believe in Him, Jesus the Messiah (v.11).
- Jesus replaces the Jewish purification (v.6) with an abundance of wine of excellent quality. Wine represents His wisdom and teaching (Prov 9:1-5).
- (v.1) "The third day" for Christians is an expression of the period between Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. In the Hebrew scriptures, the third day is a common term in the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomic history (Ex 19: 10-11 ... because on the 3rd day the Lord will come down upon Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people). On the third day of Jesus' public appearance (two days after the call of the first disciples), Jesus reveals His glory with the miracles at Cana.
- The changing of water to wine took place before Passover (v.13), the same time that Jesus would change wine into His eucharistic blood two years later.
- In the Hebrew scriptures the wedding itself was a common prophetic image for the final healing of God's relationship with the Chosen people. (Isa 62:4-5 expresses it: "... for the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married, ... so shall your builder marry you...").
- (v.4) "Woman" is 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).
- In calling His mother "woman", Jesus may well be identifying her with the new Eve who will be the mother of His disciples as to the old Eve "the mother of all the living" (Gen 3:20). In this light we can compare the woman in the Garden of Eden who led Adam to the first evil act (Gen 3:6) with the Woman at Cana who leads the new Adam to His glorious work.
- "Hour" is a key word in John's gospel; it is the time of judgment, of darkness, of death, of ultimate fidelity and of resurrection (Jn 5:28, 7:30, 12:23, 13:1, 17:1). Verse 4 reminds the reader that during Jesus' public life, until His hour came, His work was determined solely by the Father's will.
One Main Point
The changing of Old Testament water into messianic wine signifies the passing of the old into the new. The messianic era has arrived.
- You are there when Mary goes to Jesus for help. What does this tell you about her character? What do you learn from her?
- Do you think Jesus is upset with His mother? Do you think you understand Him?
- Is there a time in your life when the "wine" ran out? How has Jesus replenished it for you?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community