Homily for the second Sunday of the Year - Year C - Jn. 2:1-12


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, «They have no wine.» And Jesus said to her, «O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.» His mother said to the servants, «Do whatever he tells you.» Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, «Fill the jars with water.» And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, «Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.» So they took it. 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 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.»


" This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples; and there they stayed for a few days. "




Homily:


" On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. "


The episode in the life of Jesus in which he attended the wedding in the village of Cana is well-known. Who hasn't heard of the miracle of the water changed into wine? Moreover, as Saint John said, it was "the first of his signs." (Jn. 2:11) But what does this - "the first of his signs" - mean? Was it just a small miracle, done only to see if it would work? A first attempt, not too spectacular, in case it would fail? Not at all! Far from it! To think that one of Jesus' miracles could fail would be, for the Lord, the greatest of insults!


No, Jesus cannot fail when performing a miracle. It is true that he had not performed any others before, even though certain apocryphal Gospels invented a large quantity of miracles that they claim Jesus performed during his childhood. Before he performed his first miracle, Jesus knew, in the Holy Spirit who favors the communication between the Word of God and Jesus-Man, that this miracle was for him something absolutely possible and realizable: Jesus does not believe it to be so, he knows it!


" When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, «They have no wine.» And Jesus said to her, «O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.» "


One can see from the very start that Jesus will not realize this first miracle entirely on his own: Mary, his Mother, intervenes. Of course, it is the divine Power of Jesus the Son of God that will produce the miracle and change water into wine. But this divine Power wants to act in response to prayer: Mary believes that her Son is able to perform a miracle and so she asks him to do so, simply by telling him that the wedding guests did not have any more wine. Thereafter, each time Jesus performs a miracle, the faith and prayer of man will have first invited the Power of God to manifest itself through an exemption from the laws of nature - that is, through a miracle.


Something that has been much cavilled at is the appelation given by Jesus to Mary: "Woman..." Despite all the scriptural interpretations of the word "Woman", one absolutely must take into account the fact that Mary holds a privileged place, one that is unique, in the History of Salvation. In the light of faith, Mary, who is first the model of the Church, is also, in a certain sense, the entire accomplishment and the fullness of the Body of Christ: as Saint Louis-Mary Grignon of Montfort clearly says, if all of the members of the Mystical Body of Christ live in Christ, with Him, by Him and for Him, then they also live in Mary, with Her, by Her and for Her. Also, as the Church is the mystical Bride of Christ, Mary, as the Church, is also the Bride of Christ, and it is in this sense that Jesus, at the wedding of Cana, refers to Mary as "Woman" rather than "Mother". Moreover, since husband and wife are one, it is truly in this way that Jesus intends to perform his first miracle: with Mary, his Mother, and not without her!


" His mother said to the servants, «Do whatever he tells you.» Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, «Fill the jars with water.» And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, «Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.» So they took it. 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 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.» "


In order for Jesus to perform his first miracle, Mary asked her Son to act and she reiterated to him all her faith. But what can Mary do alone? Alone, Mary is but a believer among believers, although she is the first among them. But Mary in union with the rest of the faithful becomes, in a way, the entire Body of Christ, and goes from being the Mother to becoming the Spouse of Christ, in order to work with her Son, to collaborate, through her faith, in the Work of God. It is for this reason that Mary needs our aid. Thus, she says to the servants: "Do whatever he tells you." And the servants associated themselves to the faith of Mary through their obedience to the commands of Christ. Doesn't obedience produce miracles?


What strikes the steward of the feast concerning the wine that is presented to him now, towards the end of the meal, is its quality: he finds it better than all the other wine that had been served until then! Truly, the steward of the feast is surprised by this departure from custom: "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." Jesus clearly did not fail the first time he acted as a miracle-worker! The Lord foresaw everything and it was necessary for his first miracle to invite men to a change of life and to conversion: the tradition of men is not the Tradition of God!


" This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. "


This is the first miracle! This is a seed of faith in the soul of the disciples of the Lord! Soon, the Holy Spirit will descend upon the Apostles and disciples. Mary will be there too, in the Cenacle, on that day of the first Pentecost! Mary will have prayed with them in order that the Power of the Almighty, who had already come upon her on the day of the Annunciation, might pour itself upon the disciples of her Son and allow them to perform their own first miracles. Truly, the disciples of the Lord believed in him and came to the aid of Mary so that, by Her and with Her, the Church would be born and see the light of day, in order that it might ceaselessly grow until the fullness of time!


Mary needs each one of us to collaborate in the Work of her Son: let us not hesitate to deeply believe and to pray with perseverance in order for the Kingdom of God to come and for the Glory of the Lord to be poured forth throughout the entire the Universe!



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