Our gospel today tells the story of Jesus’ first miracle on earth. Interestingly enough, it is not a dramatic story of a miraculous healing, or exorcism, or raising from the dead. But it is fairly prosaic: Jesus intervening at the intercession of his mother, to save a bridegroom’s family from embarrassment, by turning 25 gallons of water into wine.
However, there are some basic lessons to be gleaned from this reading. Mary’s intercessory prayer for the groom’ s family was essential as is our intercession for one another. Jesus is waiting to be invited to make a difference in our lives …. prayer is the key. When Jesus works in our lives he brings greater blessings than we would otherwise have known. Marriage and all other aspects of life are improved by turning to Jesus.
Beyond this, there are other aspects to be explored for those familiar with the Old Testament scriptures. The miraculous provision of a tremendous quantity of wine, fulfills the prophecy of Amos 9:13, that when the Messiah, the long-awaited Savior of Jewish hopes and longings, appears, “the mountains will flow with new wine”. The miracle is therefore a sign of who Jesus is; it is the first of seven such “signs” that Jesus will perform in the gospel of John, leading to the greatest sign and proof of his divine identity, his resurrection from the dead. Therefore, the little chronological note that John provides at the beginning of this passage, that the event occurred “on the third day” (i.e resurrection day) is full of significance.
That the miracle takes place at a wedding points to the relationship between God and his people, so often described as a marriage covenant relationship in the Old Testament (as in our first reading from the prophet Isaiah), as is the relationship between Christ and his Church, cf Ephesians 5. The return of Christ at the end of time for his bride is described in terms of a wedding banquet invitation, so this miracle points to an end-time fulfilment, when God will pour out on his people, the fullest of blessings, and joy will reign supreme.
Come Lord Jesus!!