Isaiah 62:1-5, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, John 2:1-11.
I once attended a peace meeting in a family in one of the parishes I worked as a priest. The family has experienced six months of great turbulence and misunderstanding before I was invited to help them make peace.
When I went there, I discovered that they have a great misunderstanding which has also led to a series of problems in the family.
During the Christmas of that year, the youngest among them came back and decided that such a misunderstanding must not continue with the family.
I discovered also that they have held this peace talk for several days without any positive outcome. Even with my presence, that issue would have also led to another fighting and more problems.
All through these times they have been quarrelling among themselves, they excluded their mother from the discussion and their father is no longer alive.
It was then that I asked them “who do you think knows when these things you people are discussing happened” they said “their mother” but they don’t want to involve her due to her health condition.
Then I insisted they bring her in. After much agreement and disagreement, they invited their mother. When they invited their mother, I explained to the mother what they have been discussing. Then I begged her to tell us the truth and not to support anyone.
It was then that the mother narrated bit by bit what happened. As the mother was speaking, tears begin to roll out from the tears of many.
The point is that what they were dragging for several days, their mother solved in a few minutes. Everything changed, peace came back, the truth was exposed when their mother intervened.
In the reflection of today, I will concentrate mainly on the gospel, which is the wedding at Cana, which today becomes the third epiphany after the baptism of the Lord.
In the first epiphany, God reveals His Son to the three wise men from the east. Then in the second Epiphany, God reveals who Jesus is (His Beloved Son) at his baptism. Then today, Jesus himself reveals his glory to his disciples through His first miracle.
John selects this incident, which is not found in the other Gospels, to reveal who Jesus is.
This revelation of Jesus is possible because the Blessed Virgin Mary was invited to the wedding.
Let us analyze this reading bit by bit and do a little application.
They Invite Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On the third day, a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” (2:1-2).
The first pointer I would like to note here is that by this singular invitation, the wedding at Cana becomes a replica of the church wedding.
The wedding at Cana is in no way related to any traditional wedding because, how the wedding was done, where it was held and who were the witnesses were not mentioned.
Yet the strong pillars of the church were mentioned. The strong pillars of the Church are Jesus, our Blessed and the Apostles. Therefore, it has more resemblance to what is needed in matrimony than any other form of marriage.
Therefore, we have to make them the strong pillars of our marriage. Every home must be built in Christ and His mother if we need a peaceful home.
2. Apparently, Jesus and His mother are invited because Jesus’ family was friends or relatives of the bride or groom because Jesus’ mother and brothers (2:12) were there; Jesus and his disciples were also invited. There must have been a hidden relationship not written by John.
3. Thirdly, they honoured the invitation because they were also invited, notwithstanding the apparent relationship.
One thing we can grab from this is that Jesus and his mother honour every invitation. If you invite them, they will surely be there. Then If you invite them to your family, they will surely be there. If you invite them into your life; they will take you as their son and daughter.
The reminder here is that the celebrants in today’s gospel do not invite only Jesus. This passage explains the importance of having a close relationship with Mother Mary.
The celebrants must have been close to Mary, and that’s why she was invited. For, no one invites anyone he sees on the road.
Though Jesus was present too, her mother’s presence championed the course of the first miracle. As you invite Jesus to your heart and family, never forsake the mother. When you invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, significant things will always happen.
4. The disciples were there also. The disciples may have told Jesus about the plight of the people, or they are not observant. It was Mary who did all that. It is your mother who knew more about you, when you need something and when you are happy. Stay close to our heavenly mother, once she asks, the intercession can never be rejected. And as a mother, she knows what you need and why you need them.
They Have No Wine.
“When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.'” (2:3).
It is the mother who approaches him, no one with Jesus did that, and even the disciples could not. They have not known him yet. Only the mother knows what Jesus can do. Only the mother knows that His presence can change things. And only the Mother approaches Him in confidence.
Therefore, When we do not know how to ask him, she knows what to do; she knows the manner she will ask for it. Mary knows Jesus 100 per cent more than we understand him; she is the easiest avenue to the heart of Jesus.
2. Secondly, It is possible the celebrants must have enough wine to begin the festivities, but before long, they run out of wine!
“A quick trip to a nearby store might solve the problem without any fuss. It is either they have enough wine, but still, they run out of wine, or they were poor that they couldn’t provide enough wine.
This indicates that whether you have enough in your life, challenges must surely surface one day. No one has it all, and no matter how comfortable you are in life you can never do without God.
On the other hand, they may be poor to provide enough wine, which indicates if you cannot be able to make something up in your life always pray for the grace of God.
Invite Jesus, He is full of grace (John 1:14), also invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, She is also full of grace (Luke 1:28). Therefore, when you invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, you invite grace upon grace. When there is a lack, she always knows how to make it up to you.
The pointer here is that when there is a lack, we need the backing of the spiritual; God is always there to make it up for you. Moses has a problem with speaking, Jeremiah was a child etc, but the presence of God made everything whole.
Imagine the situation the bride and groom might be in when they run out of wine. Imagine the crisis.
Also, there was no record in the chapter when they approached Mary to request her intercession.
The celebrants have not yet understood who Jesus is, otherwise, they would have run to him, and that is why Jesus asked his mother if it concerns him or her? Why bother yourself with something that does not concern you?
In essence, the Blessed Virgin Mary puts herself into something that does not concern her just to save them. She can still do this for everyone because of her presence.
This simply shows how kind-hearted Mother Mary is, she sees them in the midst of a crisis, and she takes it upon herself to solve this situation when no one approaches her to.
It is even a hundred per cent sure that she and his son were not among the high tables considering their poor condition, but she didn’t look at those things. Imagine how loving this woman is?
How many of you will take the problems of others as if it is their own? How many of us will take it upon ourselves to lighten the burdens of others when they know they have something within their reach to do so?
Here, Mother Mary showed the true mark of Christianity. When you invite her, her kindness will overshadow all you do.
You may wonder the reason Mary involves Jesus in this way. Though the text does not tell us, she probably knows that Jesus can help. This is quite different from what we see today.
Some of the mothers of today will even hide their well-to-do sons to help out those in need, or to help out in the church, or they use him as a source of intimidation to their fellow mothers to show them they are not at their levels again, but mother Mary showed something different.
The Teacher of Faith.
In this gospel, the Blessed Virgin Mary also teaches us what faith is all about. The Blessed Virgin Mary had faith that Jesus would do a miracle even when the hour proved otherwise, and Jesus does not disappoint.
So, when we invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, she makes our faith strong, despite the challenges.
Therefore, the Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us that even it seems that God is silent, we should not conclude yet. We should always proceed in expectation of his miraculous work at any time.
My Hour Has Not Come.
When the Blessed Virgin Mary approaches Jesus, Jesus explains, “My time has not yet come” or “My hour has not yet come”.
Jesus has a clear sense throughout his ministry of the particular “hour” or “time,” at which point he is to fulfil his purpose as the sacrifice for the sins of all.
We see this phrase, either on his lips or by the narrator, several times: “his time had not yet come” (John 7:6, kairos; 30; 8:20).
Then, at the end of his ministry, the hour arrives for him “to be glorified” (12:23; 17:1), as he puts it, for him “to leave this world and go to the Father” (13:1).
Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus telling people on certain occasions not to tell everybody about their miracle (Mark 1:43-45; 7:36) or that he is the Messiah (Mark 8:29-30, Matthew 16:20; Mark 9:9, Luke 9:36, Matthew 17:9).
His hour had not yet come, and manipulating publicity would force that “hour” to come before he can train his disciples for their Kingdom work.
Jesus’ eyes were clearly on his chief purpose, but he is not in a hurry. Some also interpret it as the very beginning of his ministry has not yet come. But his mother’s intercession made it otherwise.
It’s almost like his mother is not listening or heeding to what he is saying, for she pushes right ahead in her quest to rescue the wedding party from disgrace.
Notwithstanding, it shows the power of Mary’s intercession to change the course of events. It also reveals that Jesus can never disobey the voice of his mother. When you invite the Blessed Virgin Mary during prayers, the prayer can become more effective.
Do Whatever He tells You.
After meeting His son, “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.'” (2:5),
Here, Mother Mary advises us to do what the Almighty Father will soon request us to do.
This happens at Mount Tabor during the transfiguration when He says “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, listen to him”
Therefore, listen and do whatever He tells you was addressed to the servants and the beloved apostles and invariably to all those that are the followers of Jesus.
Let us, therefore, read his word and do his word. It is by doing this that the miracle occurred.
Let us always have time with God and listen to his word. In the moment of crisis, prayers and doing what he wants you to do to lighten the situation solves the problem. Doing and obeying his words gladden God’s heart.
The Six Stone Jars.
“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.” (2:6)
John notes that the Jews use such jars to hold water for ceremonial washing or purification. Before a meal, servants or perhaps the host would pour water over the hands of each of the guests.
Mark explains the custom:
- “The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.” (Mark 7:3-4).
- The six stone water jars represent Jewish traditions. Note here also that Six is the number of incompleteness, but seven is the number of completeness and perfection.
This incident illustrates at once the poverty of the old dispensation with its merely ceremonial cleansing and the richness of the new dispensation, in which only Jesus make things new and perfect.
The Law of Moses and the teaching of prophets came to fulfilment in Christ.
2. The servants, in obeying Jesus, ‘Filled the jars with water and to the brim.” (2:7). Therefore, no matter how complete you think you are, no matter how comfortable and perfect you think you are, without Jesus you are incomplete, only Jesus make things whole perfect and complete.
1. This is the first of the miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” (2:11)
“Miraculous signs” is the plural of sēmeion, “a sign or distinguishing mark whereby something is known, sign, token, indication.”
Here, it is an event that is an indication or confirmation of intervention by transcendent powers, miracle, portent.
For John, these wonders are not just miracles, but signs that point to who Jesus is. According to verse 11, this sign had two functions:
- Reveals his glory. The teacher is more than he seems, and every so often the massive Shekinah glory of God shines out.
2. Inspires faith. It’s important to observe that in his disciples, the miracles inspired faith, but in his enemies, they inspired only a determination to eliminate him (Mark 3:6; Matthew 12:14). Therefore, the presence of Jesus and His mother inspires our faith more in Jesus. What He does for us makes our faith more strong.
2. What would have been the fate of the bride and groom if Mary was not present. Their solace came because Mary was there, the first miracle happened because Mary was there. Imagine how life would be if she is always there for you. She knows Jesus more than you do. When you invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, she knows what She can do and how to intercede for us. She knows the heart of Jesus more than we do.
3. Mary is a calm and quiet woman, she did not shout at Jesus that Jesus must obey her request, but still knew quite within her that her son will never disobey her.
Sometimes when you present your challenges before Jesus, he may test your faith with those same challenges. Maybe the more you pray, the worse the problem becomes.
In this case, do not get tired, your faith in Him is tested in the midst of challenges. In many miracles that Jesus did, he, first of all, tried the faith of the recipients and their faith conquered. (Mark 10:48-52, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 15:21-28).
4. Fourthly, the water turned to wine became the best. Water in the bible has chaotic connotations (Gen 1.4), and imagine serving the guests with water, it looks embarrassing, but when tasted they saw it’s the best.
Therefore, Never look at any situation you are in now as if there is nothing you can do. It may look chaotic, it may look embarrassing, simply turn it over to the Mother of our Saviour she knows how to make that intercession for you. Anything that comes through her is always the best.
Therefore, when you invite the Blessed Virgin Mary, she will always give you the best.
5. Fifth, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s presence saves the celebrants from shame. Her presence saves them from disgrace. Can Our presence also save others from shame, problems and troubles? Can we offer a lifting hand to souls passing through difficulties?
Also can our presence save our family from crisis, misunderstanding and quarreling. Can Our presence, save our friends from shame. Can we imitate the Blessed Mother Mary and be an instrument of salvation to many even when they do not beg for it. This is practical Christianity.
6. Finally, the whole event here shows how powerful her intercession can be.
Let us always involve her in whatever we do. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is very strong and powerful. May Our mother pray for us
God bless you