Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Second Luminous Mystery

He Who revealed Himself at the wedding feast of Cana
The Wedding of Cana

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come."

His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you."

Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it.

And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now."

Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

Typical of John, there are many different things going on here, such as the way that to the Greeks (this gospel was written in Greek), water connotes humanity, while wine connotes divinity. There is also of course the blessing of marriages here by the fact that not only is Christ present, but He is in a sense "the life of the party," and of course this passage pretty much trashes any claim that drinking is un-Christian. How much bigger of an endorsement for drinking (in the proper place and time - i.e. together in celebration) could there be?

What really strikes me when I read this, though, is the special focus given to Mary. This is the last time she speaks in the Gospel of John, but how profound is this? Mary is seemingly ignoring her Son (whom she knows to be the Messiah, the Son of God), and riding roughshod over His objection. What audacity in a mere mortal!

This should be a wake up call to the extreme importance that Mary holds in the life of Jesus. Recall that in Matthew 5:17f, He clearly states that He has come, "not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it," and assures us that "not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." Recalling the 4th commandment and that Mary is indeed His mother, then by His own law the eternal 2nd Person of God honors His mother.

By giving Mary the gift of His Only-Begotten Son, the Father shares His Fatherhood with Mary, gives her a unique relationship - no one else will physically give birth to God, to literally be His mother. In leading her to initiate Christ's earthly ministry, God shows us the profound love He has for this woman. Let us be clear, God did not need Mary, Jesus could very easily have started His earthly mission on His own - He is GOD. However, Mary is allowed to exercise her motherhood, and gives us one of the simplest and yet most difficult instructions to living the Christian life:

Do whatsoever He tells you.

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