The promise of ‘new wine’ for the world JOHN 2:1–11
By Rosemarie Siewnarine
“His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you’.” (Jn 2:5)
The gospel today takes us to the wedding at Cana, not just any ordinary wedding but one that reveals to us Jesus’ first miracle. There is a deeper understanding of the entire wedding narrative as it symbolises the calling out of the physical nation of Israel, the sacrifice of Messiah, and the drawing out of people (us) who would make up the body of the Church. The wedding shows that Christ is pivotal to the plan of salvation.
Mary’s words, “they have no wine”, to Jesus, indicates that the wedding feast was short of wine, and perhaps the newlyweds were ashamed. Imagine ending a wedding feast drinking water or tea.
By transforming the water into wine in jars used “for the Jewish rites of purification” (Jn 2:6), Jesus performs an eloquent sign: He transforms the Law of Moses into the gospel, bearer of joy. As John states: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (1:17).
The words Mary addresses to the servants at the wedding of Cana: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5) are the legacy that she hands down to us. Today, too, Our Lady says to us all: “Whatever he tells you, do it”.
It is the legacy that she has left us: it is beautiful, and it should be used in our daily lives as Mary is seen here pointing us directly to her Son. We are so fortunate to have her at our disposal and to know that the intercessions we ask of her are given to her Son.
The wedding feast is more than a simple account of Jesus’ first miracle. Jesus reveals Himself as the spouse of the People of God, proclaimed by the prophets, and the depth of the relationship that unites us to Him. It is the new covenant of love.
He guards the secret of His personhood and the purpose of His coming: the awaited Groom starts off the wedding that is fulfilled in the Paschal Mystery.
At this wedding Jesus binds His disciples (us) to Himself in a new and final Covenant. At Cana, Jesus’ disciples become His family and the faith of the Church is born. So, the wedding at Cana becomes a revelation both of Jesus’ messianic identity and His divine identity.
He is the Divine Bridegroom who has come in person to inaugurate the great wedding supper of the lamb, the feast of salvation, the banquet of the Kingdom of God; all this is present at the wedding in Cana.
As Jesus tells the servants to fill the jars with water, symbolising the filling of the nations with the Word of God, so that they may be washed clean, we need to listen to Jesus and ask Mary’s intercession for a miracle too, to live through these times.
Right here in this gospel it is given to us, the hope, the bridegroom, the wedding, the answer, the wine, the covenant, and the miracle we need to face life.
You need to believe, expect a miracle, like Mary and the disciples at this wedding. Ask Jesus, pray, wait in patience and our God will hear our plea and save His people. We are all invited to the wedding feast because the new wine will never run short.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for being a miracle-working God. We ask You to hear our cries and pleas, we ask for a miracle on earth. Have mercy on us and save us. At the wedding in Cana, Your plan for salvation and for everlasting wine was given to us, we surrender all that we are and all that we will ever be to You. Hear us, O’ Lord. Amen.
The gospel meditations for January are by Rosemarie Siewnarine, a teacher at Carapichaima RC Primary, and a parishioner of Our Lady of Mt Carmel RC Church, Carapichaima.