A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
Ministry & Life Perspectives
August 8, 2020
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
January 19, 2019
Today we hear the familiar story of Jesus’ first public miracle for which He changed water into wine at the wedding at Cana. I’ve often wondered why this was His first miracle. I would have thought His first miracle might have been a bit more spectacular. I would have thought it might have been some sort of healing miracle or something a bit more dramatic. Changing water into wine doesn’t seem like the most significant thing He could have done. So I decided to do a bit of research to better understand the dynamics of weddings during this time in history and why Jesus may have even been at this wedding.
It seems that Jesus’ family had close connections to the event in Cana. Some scripture scholars theorize that the fact that Jesus’ mother, Mary, is concerned with the lack of wine suggests that she was involved in the planning and organization of the wedding. The fact that after the wedding Jesus’ relatives travel with Him to Capernaum indicates that Jesus’ whole family was present for the wedding. Could the wedding have been that of a relative of Jesus or a family friend? It is quite possible. Such a connection would explain Jesus’ presence at the wedding.
One consideration is that of honor. In those days, family honor was of vital importance. Weddings usually lasted for seven days, during which time food and wine supplied by the bride’s and groom’s families flowed freely. To run out of either implied a thoughtless or impoverished host. Running out of wine would bring dishonor upon the family name. As a personal favor, Mary turned to her divine Son for help. Her family was about to be shamed in the community, and she knew her Son could do something about it.
It is interesting to note that the quality of wine He supplied was superior to anything that had been served up to this point. The quality of the wine stunned the host. The miracle made a strong impression on Jesus’ new disciples, teaching them from the start that He could take care of them.
The fact that the miracle was performed at a wedding is also significant. By His attendance at the wedding, Jesus places His stamp of approval on the marriage covenant, and with His miracle He shows that God abundantly loves and blesses the Sacrament of Marriage. The love and joy inherent in a wedding ceremony are also characteristic of the ministry of Christ, who came into this world because of love and brought joy to all who believe. Also, Jesus may have chosen this family situation to perform this miracle because it is something everyone in every culture can relate to. An ordinary setting became the showcase for His supernatural power. Perhaps that is another lesson He wants us to learn from it. He wants to do something supernatural in the everyday events of our lives, as well.