The Wedding at Cana story is known to most Christians. Here Jesus turns water into wine when his mother Mary urges him to do something on behalf of the hosts because the beverage has run out. Told only in John’s Gospel, this story is revealing. This will be Christ’s first public miracle. Jesus challenges his mother that his time has not yet come, but her maternal instinct must have been strong as she says to the servants that they should do whatever he tells them. Suddenly the water is transformed into wine better than what had been provided earlier. He quietly returns home for a few days before embarking on his mission.
The story is compelling for many reasons. We catch a glimpse of Jesus as human, enjoying a wedding feast with family and friends. We see also his divinity as he carries out his first miracle. Thus in this Gospel story we see both the humanity and divinity of Jesus the Christ. We observe an intimate moment shared with his mother. We acknowledge his generosity and care for the couple and their families. We witness a moment when the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary. This is what happens when Jesus comes to us as well. What we think cannot be done, in the twinkling of an eye, is. How many times does this occur in our own lives? How blessed are we!
The gospel is preceded by two other meaningful readings. In the first beautiful reading from Isaiah, we see how God rejoices over each of us in the same way as a groom is overjoyed by his bride. We are told that we shall be called My Delight is in You. We shall be crowns of beauty in the hand of the Lord. God himself will give you a new name, Isaiah promises. We too through God can be transformed. This reading is particularly poignant for me as I wrap up my chemo treatments. I will have to listen to the new name God has given me.
The Second Reading speaks of gifts. In some ways what Jesus did at the wedding at Cana was the most meaningful gift that the couple would have received at their wedding. Out of love, he provided something extraordinary and miraculous that blessed not only them, but their loved ones as well. We all have gifts that are meant to be shared and used for the common good. Jesus models this at the wedding and in the Second Reading it is laid out pretty clearly that the Holy Spirit gives these gifts to be used to profit everyone.
Use the gifts given with confidence in the One who delights in you. You can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary if you do.
What ordinary transformation was a miracle in your life recently?
What name does God give you?
Beloved One-Who-Delights-In-Us, how do we even begin to thank you for transforming ordinary moments into extraordinary miracles? You do this every single day if we but look with eyes that can see. Use us, through the gifts that you generously bestow upon us, to be the servants that do whatever you tell us to change the world. You are magnificent and we love you more than we can ever express. Amen.