The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time [C]
Isaiah 62:1-5 + 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 + John 2:1-11
January 16, 2022
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 reveals to us many important truths. 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 for this wedding celebration, 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 to prevent those at the wedding from enjoying themselves. As the 20th century essayist Hilaire Belloc declared: “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine. At least, I’ve always found it so: Benedicamus Domino!”
However, 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 this miracle teaches us about Marriage.
After all, it’s for the sake of a marriage that God the Father sent His Son to become man. The Word became Flesh so that fallen man, by receiving this Word made Flesh, would enter into union with God. St. Paul speaks of this union at length in his New Testament letters, describing the love of Jesus and His Church as a marriage.
Given this, it’s not a coincidence that the Fourth Commandment is about loving one’s parents. Reflect on the Fourth Commandment’s place among the Ten in order to appreciate Jesus’ marriage to His Church, of which each of us is a member.
The Ten Commandments fall into two groups: the first three command us to love God because 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 your neighbors will be weak. 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, there’s a reason why the Fourth Commandment is the first of the commandments to love our neighbors. During your earthly life, as you journey 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 too weak to accomplish what God wishes for you to do.
What does He wish you to do? As you strive during your earthly journey to love God and neighbor, what does He wish you 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 Blessed Mother, our families would be strong. Each human family would reflect the love seen in the Holy Family. Each human family would be a school of discipleship, apprenticing its members in the love of God and neighbor. The principle of all that Jesus tells us to do is the self-sacrifice seen on Calvary, where Jesus gave His life for His Bride, the Church.
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 individual within each family—excepting the Holy Family—is a fallen sinner.
As the first of the signs of Jesus’ glory that St. John records in his Gospel account, the miracle at Cana points to nothing less than the divinization of man: that is, the capacity of the human person to abide 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. As the venerable wedding instruction preaches: “Sacrifice is usually difficult and irksome. Only love can make it easy, and perfect love can make it a joy.”