Year C: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel: John 2: 1-11
Although we are in Year C, the Year of Luke, our first Gospel in this period of Ordinary Time is taken from John's Gospel. It is the first of the Sign stories which John uses to reveal Jesus as the Messiah.
The story is of the marriage feast at Cana with its well-known saga of a wedding feast threatening to end in a humiliating lack of wine - and Jesus' miraculous intervention by turning water meant for washing into wine.
It is a Gospel with many threads - the insight into the relationship between Mary and Jesus - the miracle itself - the fact that the miraculous wine is better than the original - the fact of Jesus honouring the young couple in this way - and so on.
Images of marriage feasts and bridegrooms - wine and water appear in the Old and New Testament with great regularity. The relationship between God and Israel was often seen as a marriage - Israel the bride, God the bridegroom. The coming of the Messiah was described in terms of a wedding feast - and later, in Revelation, we hear of the marriage feast of the Lamb. Jesus spoke of himself as the vine - and of longing to celebrate Passover, blessing wine into the cup of his blood.
It is into these layers of
symbol that we can set today's Gospel. Jesus was not doing a party trick
- nor was he just being kind: as St John says, “He let his glory be
seen”. Jesus uses a human event to point to something much greater.
Take time to reflect on
the Gospel - read it slowly - or allow your imagination to play with the
story. Allow yourself to dwell on the details and allow echoes and
symbols to speak deeply to you. This is the Man whose story we are
entering - who will speak in words but also in sign - we need to be
alert to both!
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