Second Sunday in Ordinary Time John 2,1-11

Our Lady then said to the attendants: “Do whatever she tells you” (Jn 2:5).

Our Lady was the first to know the principles of God’s action in human life. Lest the behavior of the servants at the wedding is like that of the man in the fairy tale, she gives advice: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). They will thus fulfill his command to the best of their ability. “Fill the vessels with water.” And fill them to the brim. Then he said to them: “Now draw and take it to the elder.” And they brought it to the elder.” (Jn. 2:7-8). Jesus also told us these words: “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt. 19:17)! He told us to love even our enemies, not to fear for our lives, our material security (cf. Mt. 6:25), and He explained the same “Beatitudes” – the social law of the Church (cf. Mt. 5:3-11). Let us call Jesus’ words living water.
The Gospel of St. John is profoundly theological and contains many metaphors and symbols. Jesus uses them to point clearly to truth and life. We see this in the events at Cana of Galilee. The wine in the prophets has the character of a symbol. It was a symbol of both wealth and joy. The abundance of wine at Cana also symbolizes a lot of Messianic goods. John, present at the wedding, writes: “These things Jesus did in Cana of Galilee as the first of the signs and manifestations of his glory. And his disciples believed in him” (Jn. 2:11). We can say that here Jesus began his activity as the Messiah. All the Messianic good of Christ to men began to abound. All the healing and the Lord Jesus’ miracles were a sign, a veil of His great spiritual reality. The wedding at Cana is a picture of the eschatological marriage in eternity, where we know in full the goodness and wisdom of God. The wedding began at the moment of the proclamation of the good news but will reach its “apogee” in the Kingdom of God, of which the Church is the beginning. Speaking of eternal life, the new eschatological wedding, the prophets often point out that there will be plenty of wine. By the image of “wine,” they point to the truth that the redeemed will lack nothing; they will have everything in abundance. The Evangelist John points to this truth with the event of Cana of Galilee, where Jesus’ ministry began.
The Lord Jesus, according to St. John, is the creator of the “new wine” that will be drunk at the eternal banquet in the Kingdom. This “new wine” poured into the old wineskins (cf. Mk 2:22) is the new union that culminates in Christ. Hence, actually and literally, the “new wine” is Jesus himself as our food and refreshment. We often think superficially about the event of Cana, wondering how much wine was drunk there, how much wine the Lord Jesus actually made from the water, and so on. These are unimportant things. We need to be aware of the extraordinarily profound Old Testament, the religious symbol of the wine at the beginning of the Lord Jesus’ public ministry. Cana shows us that Christ, the “New Wine,” becomes our ultimate and limitless purpose for life here on earth and in eternity. It is fitting that we can quench our thirst today with the wine that becomes the blood poured out for us through Christ.

Today, we can realize that it is irrelevant to think about alcoholism because one may claim in defense of alcoholism that Jesus also encouraged drinking wine and alcohol. Because sin is drunkenness, gluttony, and our other weaknesses or imperfections. Jesus, through the words of the Virgin Mary, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5), tells us much more, and this applies to all of us: change of life. And even change may concern not only sin but also the neglect of good. How many times do we not realize that we are neglecting the good? We could do even more interest, and consequently, we would receive even more graces and blessings from God, but we cannot because we are unable to respond to them, to cooperate with them precisely because of the neglect of the good. St. Anthony, the abbot whose feast we celebrate these days, understood this.
As a young man, he heard in a Sunday sermon, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19:21). He still has a younger sister to care for. He provides for her education, material security, gives away her possessions, and follows the poor Christ. As a hermit, he becomes a blessing to many who come to him for help, advice, prayer, blessing. He died at an old age, known as a teacher of asceticism. He did not drink wine, he led a life of renunciation, and according to the teachings of Cana, even then, he drank of the “new wine – Jesus Christ,” even then many could be convinced of the truth of the teachings of Jesus Christ by the life of St. Anthony the Abbot.
This does not mean that today we should all follow St. Anthony’s example verbatim. It is also necessary to live in a family, marriage, single state, live a social life, engage in culture, sports, and enjoy the good things for the soul and body… Everything is permitted that is not sinning. Sin is an insult to God. The event of Cana should become a memento for us that, first, we should do everything that Jesus tells us through the voice of conscience, through the Church, through the leaders, through the parents…

Lack of wine can also be understood as: lack of peace, health, love, joy, and this is not the fault of Christ. We are not to look for words to reproach Christ with but to look for the actual cause of what we have done to ourselves. God offers us His grace. He calls us to cooperate. We have the opportunity to turn things around. Let us remember that Jesus took the apostles aside to Mount Tabor, where He was transfigured…
Why do I procrastinate, for example, with the opportunity to participate in Spiritual Exercises? Jesus changed bread into his flesh and wine into his blood… Why do I not often receive Christ in the Eucharist with true piety, preparation, and a pure heart? Jesus raised the dead Lazarus. Jesus wants to change even my mortal soul life. Jesus wants my eternal life. He converted the persecutor Saul. God wants to make me His witness, a spreader of light, peace, love, to be salt, leaven, light, a net for my surroundings. Jesus wants us to be happy already here on earth and one day in His Kingdom. He wants us to adopt his command: “Go, therefore, teach all nations…” (Mt. 28:19). At the wedding in Cana, the disciples understood and accepted this as their own. “His disciples believed in him” (Jn 2:11). What about us?

Indeed, we want to avoid ending up like a modern man who went astray in the wilderness. The sun’s scorching heat plagued him mercilessly. Then he saw an oasis nearby. “Ah,” he said to himself, “a Fata Morgana, a mirroring of the air! There is nothing there at all.” But the oasis did not disappear even as he continued his journey. He could see the date palms more and more clearly, and the water was glistening beside them. “This can only be a hunger fantasy conjured up by my parched brain,” he thought. When he had taken a few steps, he stopped and exclaimed: “Now I can even hear the gurgling of the water. This is surely an auditory hallucination! Oh, how can nature be so cruel!” Soon, two Bedouins found him lying dead on the sand. “This man died of hunger and thirst,” said one of them, “and yet juicy date trees are growing opposite and spring water running by them. Can you understand that?” Here the other replied, “That was a modern man.”
What is the meaning of this legend? Modern man is very critical. Sometimes he is downright afraid that he might be wrong, especially religious matters. And some will be persuaded that the Gospel message results from the hallucinations of Jesus’ disciples. Despite their hunger and thirst for the Word of God, they would rather die of spiritual hunger and thirst. Why don’t they go and see if the dates and water are accurate; why don’t they have the courage to accept the faith so that they can be convinced of its reliability? Faith leads one to spiritual experiences that make one happy and convince one of the rightness of one’s path.
Today’s Sunday with the Gospel of the wedding in Cana of Galilee cries out with the words of the Psalm, “Try and see how good the Lord is, happy is the man who takes refuge in him” (Ps. 34:9). And we realize that this is a strong enough argument for any of us.

None of us now desire a glass of wine from the wedding at Cana; that would be very little. We want to realize the words of Christ in the Gospel so that we take away not one golden grain of wheat today but the treasure of faith that is our hope.

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