2nd Sunday C – He Is The One

While preparing a young couple for marriage many years ago I asked the bride-to-be how she met her fiancé. She was at a party one evening with a couple of girl-friends and talking about a new movie that had recently been released. Out of the blue she noticed a guy who was walking across the hall and greeting people here and there as he went. She thought he looked “interesting”, and something clicked. Eventually they met face to face and chatted briefly. “He’s the one!” she said to herself. Later in the evening he asked for her phone number. That occurred more than thirty years ago. And, yes, he was and still is, THE ONE!The Gospel account of the Wedding at Cana uses highly symbolic language and invites a slow and thoughtful reading.  Jesus performed many miracles as recorded in the gospels, especially in Mark, Matthew and Luke.  They testified to the presence of God in Jesus and often evoked faith in people and empowered some to become disciples – Matt 9:1-8 & 20:34.  But in St. John’s Gospel miracles are often called “signs”. Signs are unusually rich in human and scriptural imagery, and the Cana sign like the others (4:46-54; 5:1-15; 6:5-14; 6:16-24; 9:1-7; 11:32-44), envelops a convergence of rich wedding symbolism and generous joyful living — (Read each sign story slowly and with imagination). The relationship between God and humanity is often depicted in scripture as a big joyful wedding – cf. The parables in Matt 22 and Luke 14.

He let his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him. Marked by incredible and compelling abundance, joy and newness, the vision of life offered by Jesus’ water-to-wine event at Cana amounted for his disciples to a glimpse of his glory. Jesus’ glory evoked in the disciples an awareness and intuition of the banquet of life’s fullness. The wedding, prior to Jesus arrival and turning water into wine, might be seen as a symbol of ‘life on the dole’, bare existence, bread and water. When the Jewish religious ritual water became finest wine, symbol of the new life offered by Jesus, the disciples got their first taste of what Jesus was really all about .They would see his glory again and again, and his glory would lead them to intuit life’s joyful and exciting fullness – John 10:10b

The story of the wedding at Cana, together with the stories of the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord “have been regarded from ancient times as one combined revelatory event”, writes Kieran O’Mahoney. Of the old religion of Israel (symbolised by the six empty water jars), the mother of Jesus said “they have no wine” – no joy, no abundance, no excitement, no real life. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the one: follow him and do whatever he says and you will find joy and you will have life. The incarnation is waiting to be grasped and accepted as the most extensive transformation of life ever to envelop our world and universe. The Word was made flesh…and we saw his glory – John 1:14.

Fr. QQ – 1/12/2022

 “Knock in prayer and it shall be opened in contemplation.”                                                                                                     – St. John of the Cross

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