What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
If His baptism was the first public revelation that Jesus was the Light of the World, then the wedding at Cana was, as St John tells us, the first of those signs through which His glory was revealed. What illumination does it offer us as we meditate on it when praying the Rosary?
We note signs that point to a wider resonance. The wedding took place on “the third day”. We know that it will be on the “third day” that Christ will rise again from the dead, marking the ultimate triumph of Light over darkness. But the Evangelist hints that this third day was the seventh of his opening week of Ministry, which, of course, put us in mind of the story of the Creation. The Word who was in the Beginning, is also here when the world is transformed through His redeeming love.
Love, is, of course, something we naturally associate with a wedding, even if that was not necessarily the case in ancient times, and so for us, we see something very relevant to our own times, that love is sanctified by God. The Word Incarnate blesses the occasion with His presence and joins in the joy and the happiness – and, thanks to the intervention of His mother – ensures that an embarrassing mishap which could have spoiled the day was not allowed to do so.
And yet Jesus’s reply to Mary pointing out that the wine was running low seems rather curt. Whichever translation of the Greek one prefers, calling your mother “Woman” and asking her what the situation had to do with them sounds a little impolite. Yet Jesus responds to her advocacy, which may be the message we need to receive. But if we look a little closer, we see the first of seventeen reference in the Gospel of St John to the “hour” coming.
It is clear from the first half of the Gospel that this means that despite the attempts of His enemies, no harm can come to Jesus. It is not until the start of the week of the Passion that Jesus’ “hour” will come. However much we may say, like Peter, that we can drink the cup that He will drink, in practice, like Peter, we will be found wanting. But there is the illumination we need. We should not do as Judas did and in despair, abandon hope, instead we should do as Peter did, even if that is just getting on as best we can with our lives and being open to Christ, who has never stopped loving us, even when we have given up on ourselves. The time will come, Jesus says, when “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live … those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
Mary is the pattern for our response to Jesus when she tells the servants to do as He tells them. Because we know the outcome it is easy for us to forget how strange His words must have sounded. The big stone jars were not just full of clean water stored in case anyone got thirsty, they were there for ritual cleansing, and so in all probability the water in them was far from fresh. Like us, the water was impure and perhaps, even foul. But, like we have been, are being and will be, it was transformed by Christ. If we are brought into mind of Jesus telling us that the wine He consecrated at the Last Supper was His “blood,” then we get the connection that His blood saves.
Mary does not respond negatively to the words of her Son, nor should we. She sets an example and after her intercession, shows that perfect obedience is perfect service. In that service the Light of the world is revealed, and we have His first sign. Jesus responded to His mother’s intercession, and if we, poor banished children of Eve intercede through her, then we have cause. “Do whatever He tells you,” she told the servants – and we should go an do likewise.
Darkness has been on my mind of late. Yesterday I heard a word I had not heard in a lo8time: reprobation.
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Jock McSporran said:
Ah – reprobabion – yes. I remember a discussion between some divinity students who had been placed with churches where – it seems – the ministers wouldn’t let them loose giving the sermon and would only allow them (at most) to give the children’s address. One of them suggested a children’s address on reprobabion … I didn’t hear the sequel, so I don’t know how it went (and if the student in question was ever allowed to speak in that church again).
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Chalcedon? Have you studied the etymology of the word “woman” in the context of how John uses it in the Gospel? It surprises me that you allude to the fact of the creation story and yet do not cover the relation between woman, Zoe, and Eve. In fact, John does the same thing when Jesus is on cross, “ Woman, behold your son.” The typology is connecting her as the new Eve, but also pointing to the idea of life.
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Thank you Phillip – following this up, and it is fascinating.
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While we’re suggesting ideas for more posts etc. I have been wondering as late on the following:
Shemitah (Sabatical Year) & Yobel (or 50 year Jubilee)
The Feast of Weeks is so called because it occurs seven weeks after Passover, the fiftieth day being Pentecost.
The seventh year, during which the fields were to be left fallow (Leviticus 25:1-7) and debts released (Deuteronomy 15:1-11) is called in Hebrew Shemitah (“Release”). The seven years are counted in the cycle of fifty culminating in the Jubilee.
The Yobel after 7 weeks is a New Beginning: a new start with all debts forgiven, no work to be done, freeing of slaves, return of all property and homes held by the creditor (maybe God is the creditor of the sins perpetrated against Him and imputed until forgiven).
It would seem an interesting post to ponder the death of Christ, the acceptance of His Sacrifice (by God and the Passover) perhaps on Shemitah and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost after the Feast of Weeks on Pentecost. I have often wondered whether the year that Christ died may have come just before the close of the Shemitah.
Have you read or found anything to tie the two together as a fulfillment of this law which the OT Jews held in almost the same lawful reverence as the Decalogue? As I understood it, these 50 year cycles only began once all the Jews were settled in the land that God gave them and the 12 Tribes had divided the land.
Bosco the Heretic said:
we know in the beginning of whats called the catholic church, in rome, people had tons of gods. they had feast days like we have days too, like Halloween and christmas and eshtar and we love them and grew up with them. these people were not about to discard their gods and their holy days. what is the new state run religion going to do to bring these people in? thats easy…include their gods into the new roman state run religion. the idol of jupiter was renamed peter and so forth. but the biggest religion was of diana.the goddess of heaven, all powerful hunter. these diana worshipers were all over the Mediterranean world. paul had a run in with them in ephesus. no freakin way were they going to drop diana. well, not to worry. the queen of heaven got a new name, and kept all the same powers…introducing mary, the queen of heaven. all powerful.
now when gabe came to mary to tell her she was gong to have this child, mary didnt understand what was going on, in contrast to the catholic picture of mary being in on the know from the beginning. mary , it is told, kept these things in her heart. she didnt know what to make of it. but, in catholic artwork, she stands there like she is fully in charge and is the queen all powerful of heaven. holding the baby jesus and looking all holy or what ever the catholics are supposed to gleen from the images. so, my question is, if mary knew all about everything and who jesus was, why did she fly into a panic when jesus wasnt with them in the trip back home from some distant city. she was all upset and gave jesus a good tongue lashing for scaring them so by not coming along but staying behind. she should have, according to catholic fable, siad..ah hes god, he can handle it. ill catch up with the boy later. no, she thought some evil befell the boy. one more thing. catholic fable say jesus wont deny any request by the queen of heaven. mary and some of jesus brothers and sisters were outside a house calling him. he refused to go see what they wanted. someone said…you mother and brothers are outside calling you. jesus said his mother and brothers are those that do the will of the father. mary and his brothers were not followers of jesus. jesus did not consider mary his mother. to him, she was a woman. mary was worried sick about jesus ,going around town acting like he was god. she knew sooner or later the romans would arrest him and most likely kill him . so, faithful catholic are left to try to flesh out mary as this virgin queen of heaven by saying the bible doesnt mean what it says. yet their costume holymen pick up the bible and wave it around and kiss it during their ritual, knowing full well they dont believe one word of it.
Bosco, I don’t know what is more amazing – your ignorance of history or the confidence with which you pronounce so many myths. I suspect one follows the other. If you were interested in learning anything, you’d have followed the links on this site which prove every single thing you have just written is untrue.
A person truly motivated by the Spirit would have the humility tio want to learn. The reason I, and others, doubt your claim to be born-again is that in your every word you sound unborn again. There is no sign at all of the Spirit in anything you right, which is sad.
But the door is always open, and He bids you enter. You will be known as His by the love you show to others.
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Bosco the Heretic said:
hi good brother. i dont understand. the biblical accounts i mentioned are there for all to see. maybe its the conclusions i draw that you say are wrong.
i maintain that catholic imagery gives false impressions and that catholics have fallen prey to them. yourself included. for instance….the panting of supposed mary holding a baby supposed to be jesus, not even old enough to talk. in the picture they both are wearing big fat gold crowns. there are also graven images of the same with both wearing big gold crowns. this leads people to think they were on top of things right after the birth. but the scriptures dont support this idea. why did mary reprimand jesus for staying behind if he is the king and she is the queen. kings do what they want.
heres something else you can claim is false….mary never interacted with jesus ministry after he left home. there is no account of her traveling with him or cooking for the guys or helping him preach or anything. the closest she came was standing outside a house where he was, calling for him, and he didnt even come out to see her. some big queen of heaven. absentee queen. not one word from her.only time she saw him was at the crucifixion, and even then no words of hers were recorded. even at pentacost, no wise words from the all powerful queen of heaven and earth were recorded.
you still maintain that im not born again and am usually wrong in my opinions. i go by what is written in scripture while your religion is based on things not in scripture. not only are they not in scripture, they contradict scripture.
being enamored with mary and joseph is fine. i was every christmas. and still am. but this all powerful queen of heaven business has gone too far. catholic literature vacillates back and forth on some subjects. i read were its good to ask mary to send jesus a prayer request, and i read where you have to go thru mary to get a prayer thru to jesus. the majority says you cant get thru to jesus, that you have to go thru mary. louis de montfort says one can only get to jesus thru mary. i “talk” to catholics in other sites, and it seems to be a 50 50 split on this. half pray to jesus most of the time and half only pray to mary. its not funny anymore when your whole prayer life is wasted praying to nothing. salvation comes from asking jesus to come into your life. if one dies expecting this queen of heaven to save them at the hour of their death, well, their fate is sealed. the reason you or I are here is to work out salvation.mary is fine, but she didnt die for my sins.
See today’s post.