The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Isaiah 62:1-5 + 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 + John 2:1-12
January 17, 2016
“Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory….”
Jesus’ miracle at the wedding at Cana tells us many important things. For example, the fact that there were six ceremonial water jars, each holding about 25 gallons, tells us that Jesus produced 150 gallons of wine at this wedding, which in turn tells us that this… was a Catholic wedding.
It also tells us that Jesus was not a fundamentalist. If Jesus had believed that drinking alcohol is inherently immoral, his first public miracle would not have been to turn water into wine at a wedding. Instead, He would have turned 150 gallons of wine into water.
But besides this simple lesson about morality, there’s a deeper tradition revealed in this Gospel passage: part of Tradition with a capital “T”. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus’ first public miracle takes place at a wedding, and that it teaches us about Marriage. Nor is it a coincidence that the Fourth Commandment is about loving one’s parents. Reflect on the Fourth Commandment’s place among the Ten.
The Ten Commandments fall into two groups: the first three command us to love God as God is Love; the latter seven command us to love our neighbor as our self. It’s not a coincidence that the first three are first, because it’s more important to love God than our neighbor. This is so because our love has to be ordered. If your love for God is not primary, then your love for any and all of your neighbors will be incomplete, weak, and lacking in joy. God intends, by the way He designed us, for His love to be the source of our love for our neighbors.
Similarly, our love for all our “neighbors” has to be ordered. That is to say, there’s a reason why the Fourth Commandment is the first of the commandments to love our neighbors. As you live among all your fellow human beings, if your love for your parents is not primary, then your love for any and all of your other neighbors—in childhood and adulthood—will be less than what God wishes for us to do.
What does He wish for us to do? “‘Do whatever He tells you.’” These words of our Blessed Mother are not just for servers at a wedding 2000 years ago. If each of us listened to our Mother, our families would be strong, because their love would be ordered from God, through God, and towards God. Spouses would trust God’s love for them, and would trust in their God-given capacity for virtue as the means by which to plan their families, instead of relying on artificial means that turn spouses 180° away from God’s plan for divine love within Marriage.
As the family goes, so goes society. The family that’s rooted in God strengthens society. But the family itself is made of individuals, each of whom is a fallen sinner. As the first of the signs of His glory, the miracle at Cana points to nothing less than the divinization of man: that is, the capacity of the human person to live and grow in God’s love. What is merely natural and of this earth (water) becomes something more, something richer and deeper. What for human beings is ordinary is made a conduit of God’s extraordinary grace: that is, the power of divine love that can make sacrifice an occasion for joy.