Chrysostom tells us that Jesus came to the wedding at Cana caring more for our good than for his own dignity. He who did not disdain to take upon himself the form of a servant did not disdain to come to the marriage of servants. St Augustine reminds us that Jesus came into the world for a marriage – the Word is the bridegroom and human flesh the bride, and it is redeemed through him.
St Maximus of Turin points out that the Blessed Virgin was asking for a temporal favour, but Christ was concerned with those that would be eternal. Only the one who had made it out of nothing could change water into something whose use was quite different; Jesus wants to do the same with the water of our lives.
Bede adds that those are most worthy of Christ burn with devotional desires and have known the passage from vice to virtue, and from earthly to eternal things. The wine was made to fail to allow the Lord the opportunity to make something better – and so that the glory of God in man might be brought from its hiding place.
Whenever Jesus refers to ‘my hour’ (John 8:20; 12:23: 13:1) it indicates that some crisis in his personal life has been reached. Chrysostom says that Jesus’ words here indicate that the wedding guests did not know his real identity. It is only when we, like the wedding guests, perceive that our life is empty, that we recognise the source of fulfilment. The thirst caused by the failure of the wine symbolises the thirst we have as humans that can be fulfilled only in God.
Chrysostom challenges those foolish enough to give credit to the notion that in his words Our Lord was being disrespectful to his mother. He always showed her due respect, but here he is reminding her, and us, that God has no need to be reminded of anything, and that he is God Incarnate and made all things in heaven and on earth. But he decides that he will honour his mother and do what she asks.
St Augustine explains to us that the wine of Christ comes from the water of the law and the prophets.. Only the Creator of all things could make one thing into another – and he does the same with us. He gives the world the first testimony of who he really is.
St Maximus tells us that in seeing this, the disciples believed because he revealed it to them, as he will reveal it to us if we believe. As he transformed mere water into the richest wine, so he will transform our sinful selves into beings fit for heaven.