Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wedding Feast of Cana

2nd Sun. Ordinary Time Year C
Jn. 2:1-11

On the natural level, the Gospel story of the wedding feast at Cana has its humorous moments.  We read that the Mother of Jesus was there, and then, oh yes, Jesus was also invited and he brought along his friends.  Then the wine ran out.  Perhaps the fishermen from Galilee were heavy drinkers?  At any rate, Mary, in a typically maternal fashion, speaks to her Son in the briefest of statements, yet one full of far reaching implications:  “They have no wine.”  Jesus resists, as any grown and independent son might do, but His mother ignores what He says and acts on what He means.

On a deeper, more spiritual level, however, the story contains profound mysteries.  Oh, how true is Mary’s statement!  They have no wine!  Human kind is bereft of the wine of salvation.  Even the greatest of joys, that of nuptial love, eventually runs dry without God’s grace and blessing.  Jesus calls His mother woman, an unprecedented way for a son to speak to the one who bore him.  Yet, this is no disrespect.  Rather, He elevates her beyond her physical relationship to Him, and proclaims her to be the new Eve, the new woman who would be the true mother of all the living in the new covenant of grace.  The first Eve tempted her husband Adam to disobey God’s command.  Thus she proved herself unfaithful to her vocation to be man’s helper.  Mary, on the other hand, as co-redemptrix, urges her Son, the new Adam, to begin His work of redemption, and fulfill the mandate He had received from the Father.  The response of Jesus probes the depths of His mother’s soul.  Does she really want to hasten His hour, that most bitter hour which will bring them both unspeakable torment and end in the separation of death?  I imagine Jesus looking into her eyes and seeing there the determination of faith, the compassion of love, and her unconditional “fiat”.  When she, in turn, perceives in the eyes of her Son the unspoken will to act, she speaks to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”  So too does she say to us.

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