Have you ever experienced a treasure hunt? The kind where you have to go hunting for clues – and when you have found the first clue you can then hopefully solve it so that you can continue to find the second one and on and on. It seems that the author of John’s gospel would enjoy this kind of puzzle. At the end of the gospel today, he drops a clue for us. He says that this wedding, where ordinary water is transformed into abundant and beautiful wine is a sign. A couple of chapters later we are told the story of the healing of the official’s son (John 4:46-54) – and we are told that this was the second sign that Jesus did (John 4:54). But there the numbering of the signs ceases. John hopes that he has provided us with enough clues that we will prayerfully move through the remainder of his gospel looking for these signs – and more importantly – what and who they are pointing to.
The wedding at Cana is a rich story. John has weaved through multiple layers of symbols and meanings that require “a long walk with a large cup of tea” (to quote from Tim Mackie). Even the opening line, “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana” activates so many hyperlinks and themes that point backward and forward to the resurrection day. The next story – the cleansing of the Jerusalem temple – also provides a contrast and a choice point. What do we expect from the Lord? Will we be content with ‘ordinary water’ (as wonderful and necessary as this is), will we be content with religious rituals (represented by the temple sacrifices) or will we truly desire the new wine of the holy Spirit?
- First Reading ‡ Isaiah 62:1-5
As the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so will your God rejoice in you.
- Responsorial ‡ Psalm 95:1-3.7-10
Proclaim his marvellous deeds to all the nations.
- Second Reading ‡ 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
One and the same spirit distributes different gifts as he chooses.
- Gospel ‡ John 2:1-11
The first of the signs given by Jesus was at Cana in Galilee.
- Play MP3
- Watch Video