2nd Sunday (C)

“Do what He tells you”

The miracle of Cana is not just about changing water into wine. The miracle has a deeper meaning. St. John called it a sign, something that is pointing us to a deeper reality. At Cana the wine ran out. Thiswas a way of saying that the old religion, the old observances, had been found wanting. The time had come for the promises of the Old Testament to be fulfilled. The prophets had foretold an abundance of wine with the coming of the messiah. At Cana Jesus provided just that and those who tasted the new wine agreed that it was better than the old.

The miracle of Cana points to what would happen all through the ministry of Jesus. His presence would change the lives of those with whom he came into contact. It is a time of joy and celebration and not for fasting. There is no fasting as long as the bridegroom is with them. Great things happen when God mixes with man. Some find peace, some find joy and some find life is no longer the same. 

It is a sign in as much as we are able to go into the deeper realities of it. At Cana water changed into wine and at the last supper wine was changed into his blood.

The multiplication of the loaves was a sign to feed the hungry, but at the last supper he gives us his own body and blood for our nourishment. Unless you eat my body and drink my blood you have no life in you. It was the sign of his very life given for the life of the world that we may have life in and through him.

They have no wine:

The wine runs out and the couple is left with nothing, but water. This happens in spite of the presence of Jesus with them. Those who have tasted wine, water will be a very poor substitute. Generally on any marriage feasts, the couples are surrounded by friends, relatives and well-wishers, who load them with gifts. Full of hopes, aspirations and dreams, they set off on their honeymoon with the sound of music and dancing ringing in their ears. The wine is flowing freely and all are happy especially the couple.

The challenges of a real life are to be faced with its ups and downs.  First and fore most is setting up a home and learning to live and adjust with one another. It is all an excitement and novelty and there is absolutely no cloud in their sky. They are convinced that their love was preordained in heaven and meant to last for eternity and the wine is flowing in abundance.

It is said that when the human beings are very close to one another problems are bound to arise. The realities of life are slowly going to be unfolded either for better or for worse. The rosy life begins to fade, fragrance is no more, petals dry and fall one by one. They find difficult to accept the other unconditionally, frustration, disagreements and tensions arise. The wounds and cracks in each other begin to show up and they begin to squabble over trivial things. They are horrified at the poverty they discover in one another, and the thought that they are committed to sharing this for their rest of their lives becomes frightening. 

It is natural to say that if I had ever known I would have never chosen it. The wine has run out. There is absolutely no joy in their lives or in their relationships. All is dull and flat, routine, boring and difficult to cope up with the situations. All that they are left with is the water of their own meager resources. It is the same with our careers, professions and even in our vocations to religious and priestly life.

Presence of Mary and her Intervention:

If it had not been for Mary, who noticed the shortage of wine in that house, and immediately told Jesus about it, the miracle would not have occurred and the joy of the feast would not have lasted long. Mary saw the danger and her intervention spared the young couple embarrassment and ridicule. Despite a negative response from Jesus at first, she looked for people who would be willing to obey her Son without asking any questions.

Mary tells the servants “Do what He tells you.”Mary could not solve the problem of the shortage of wine alone, nor could she salvage the feast, but she knew that her son could, if he wanted it and she trusted him. She encouraged others to trust him and obey him. They did not have to wait long for the miracle, even though it meant that Jesus reluctantly had to anticipate the time of his manifestation. The mere presence of Jesus is not enough to ensure the joy of life. It is necessary also to do what he says, whatever it might be, even if immediately beforehand he said he had no intention of doing anything.

The disciples who were present became happy believers without too much effort, not so much as a result of the miracle, but on account of Mary’s absolute trust and the silent obedience of the servants. Those who live joyfully as disciples together with Mary can be sure that joy will not be lacking in their lives. Their lack of faith, and their failure to find joy and enthusiasm in their own lives and in their homes, can be overcome. Nothing can take away the joy of living, not even our own inability to attain joy or to preserve it, if we stay close to Mary as we journey with Jesus through life. If Mary is missing in our lives, then we miss journeying with the woman of faith. We need to find her, if we are to become believers who will not lose the joy of living. 

Intervention of Jesus:

If we look at all the apparitions of our Blessed Mother, it is always directed to Jesus.  To become disciples of Jesus we need to accept her and learn from her who is our guide and teacher. She is not a miracle-worker, but a powerful intercessor to the generosity of her Son. A devotion that makes us obedient like the servants will ensure that we will witness miracles in our everyday life, just as the first disciples did. Why should we be any different from them? They did nothing special, but had the good fortune to be with Jesus and his mother at a feast. Our following of Jesus, with Mary becomes an experience of faith and the joy to be lived with others. Jesus will always come back to surprise us, as he surprised the first disciples at Cana in Galilee, as long as we share with Mary the joys and the limits of our daily lives. We do not have to renounce the joys of life, nor do we have to live without ever making a mistake. This is our good fortune if we have Mary alongside us as we follow her Son closely. 

At Cana he changed water into wine. At Naim for a poor widow he changed tears into joy. At Jericho for Zacchaeus he changed selfishness into generosity. Multiplied bread to feed the hungry, who were listening to him for a long time. The lepers are cleaned and return to their home. The blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk. On Calvary for the good thief he changed despair into hope. On Ester morning he changed death into life. It is always a change and a transformation.

St John says in his account that the mother of Jesus was there. Today from her place in heaven Mary continues to intercede with her son on behalf of the church and of the world. The prayer memorare: Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intersession was left unaided.