Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wedding At Cana

The Wedding at Cana

In today’s Gospel reading from John we hear of the third event that celebrates the epiphany of Jesus,  the wedding at Cana. Here, John tells us, “Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs [miracles] in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory.” (John 2:11) By performing His first miracle, Jesus manifests Himself as the Messiah, and begins down the road to the Cross.

It is interesting to note that Jesus’ first miracle is performed during a wedding, changing water into wine. “The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1613)

The Church sees marriage as a successful sign, a symbol, or an icon of the presence of Christ. In other words, the Church sees marriage as a sacrament, an outward sign, instituted by Christ that conveys a supernatural grace.

Besides proclaiming the goodness of marriage, the wedding at Cana gives Mary a prominent roll. It is at her request, “They have no wine,” (John 2:3) that initiates the response from Jesus, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2: 4) This may appear to be rude, but rather it is the way one expressed “it was none of their business” in Aramaic.

Jesus also knew that if He performed this miracle He and His mother would no longer live a private and peaceful life. By changing the water to wine, His “hour of glory” would be revealed; there would be no turning back. He would begin His journey to the Cross out of His deep love for all of us.
Jesus’ use of the term “woman” is a connection back to Genesis 3:15, the Protoevangelium, or “first gospel.” Here the Lord God said, “I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” This “enmity” is between the “woman” and the serpent [Satan], this “woman” from Genesis 3:15 is the mother of Jesus.

The Church states in the “first gospel”, that this is the” first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.… Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the Protoevangelium as Mary, the mother of Christ, the “new Eve.”” CCC # 410-411

In Revelation 12: 1-5, this “woman” appears again, “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth….then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child….She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne.” The child is Jesus, and the woman is Mary his mother.

At the wedding of Cana Jesus connects His mother to the woman promised in Genesis and spoken of in Revelation. Jesus is reminding us of the great roll Mary will play in salvation history.

“They have no wine,” may seem of little importance, but it is symbolic of coming to the aid of those in need, and bringing that need to the attention of Christ. Mary is interceding here for the newly-weds. “Mary’s heart cannot but take pity on the unfortunate couple….it stirs her to act as intercessor and ask her Son for the miracle, even though no one asks her to…If our Lady acted like this without being asked, what would she not have done if they actually asked her to intervene?” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Short Sermons, 48, 2, 1)

Next his mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you,” and Jesus proceeds to change water into wine. Our Mother “continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ.” CCC#975

There is so much more revealed in this gospel, but needless to say, the first miracle of Jesus appears to describe more than just a supernatural “wine run” to 7 Eleven because all the bottles were empty. Let us walk with Him in peace and joy. Shalom

For devotional items related to the Catholic Church, please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures.  

Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese
Wedding at Cana Giotto

No comments:

Post a Comment