John 2:1-11 (2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Year C)
In the gospel of John, he narrates the story of the Wedding at Cana where Jesus did his first act of ministry, his first sign. Sign for John points to something beyond itself. For the authors of the synoptic gospel, signs are miracles. The first sign of Jesus happened at a wedding. It points to the prophecy of the Prophet Isaiah in the first reading (Is 62:1-5). God is the groom and the people of Israel is the bride. This beautiful image is fulfilled in the Wedding at Cana where Jesus is the bridegroom and the Christian community is the bride. The first sign reveals God’s extravagant love for his people as shown in the abundance of wine transformed by Jesus. It points to the Calvary. It anticipates the Cross where Jesus revealed the ultimate and greatest sign where he gave his life as a ransom for many. There on the Cross that the marriage between God and man is fulfilled. There on the Cross that Jesus revealed the unconditional love of the Father. He is the image of the invisible God. On the Cross, Jesus said, “I thirst” and they gave him sour wine. He is the source of the premium wine. Yet in return he received the bitterness of indifference and hatred.
It is also very interesting that the Mother of Jesus was there but her name was not mentioned. It is because Mary represents the new Eve, new Woman, the Mother of the Church. The first woman in the Book of Genesis was disobedient. Mary is obedient. In fact she said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you”. Mary also was the first one to discover that they ran out of wine. It shows Mary’s sensitive awareness. She represents the Church who is sensitive to the needs of others. She also represents the ancient longing of the people for the divine life. Wine represents the divine life and the obedience of Mary is the key to the divine life.
The wine symbolizes the wild excess, overwhelming grace and the generosity of God beyond imagination. It is the extravagance of God’s love. It points to the Holy Eucharist, the table of plenty, the source and summit of the Christian life yet many Catholics stay away from the Church. Many Catholics do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. St. John said that Jesus revealed his glory at Cana. It refers to his Prologue where he says, “We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth”. The glory of Jesus reveals his divinity. And his disciples believe because the purpose of the sign of Jesus is to inspire belief.
What is the invitation for us? It is an invitation to receive this enormous gift of the divine life offered to us by Jesus free of charge. To allow this gift to transform us from our sinfulness to new life. Just like St. Paul who says, “It is not I who live but Christ lives in me”. We are so much loved. God does not need us yet he did not spare his only begotten Son and from the Cross we are married to God, reconciled to the Father and become children of the Father. What a huge and tremendous gift and privilege! But also entails great responsibility.