2C19. Isaiah 62:1-5. Isaiah looks forward to the return of the Hebrew captives to Israel. “So shall your God rejoice in you” as his people returns to his embrace as his bride. What great things God will do for his people because his love for them is so great!
John 2:1-11. When reading John’s gospel, it is absolutely necessary to realize that, more than than not, he intentionally writes with two levels of meaning. First there is the obvious first meaning or understanding that the text is speaking on a physical, everyday layer of meaning, i.e. the text says just what the common understanding is and nothing more or less. However, then John the Evangelist expects us to delve into the deeper, more profound meaning he really wants us to perceive. From the first reading we can see that God wants to see his relationship to his people as a marriage that involves the deep caring that the groom should have for his bride and not just as two people passing each other on the street. In the coming of Jesus into the world God is forming a new bride whom he wishes to marry in yet a deeper love than before. Returning to the first obvious level of meaning we should recognize that the disciples of Jesus were, what I refer to, as a lower blue-collar class of hard working people who were used to living a hard and hardy style of life. In other words, there is a good chance that the reason why the feast ran short of wine was that Jesus’ disciples drank most of it. Mary is confronting her son with the problem of the lack of wine because she feels he has the responsibility to deal with the shortage that his disciples have created. At first he is reluctant because he seems to feel that “My hour has not yet come” to work miracles. Yet Mary persists by saying to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” I feel that Jesus still remains obedient to his Mother and to God the Father who speaks through Mary. Jesus superabundantly provides for the wine that ran short by turning six stone jars filled with water into 120 to 180 gallons of wine, almost 900 bottles full. There is a deeper level of meaning to be uncovered in this stupendous miracle. I believe that Jesus works this miracle at the beginning of his ministry to say that, what was the water of the Old Covenant, he now turns into rich, fine wine, the infinite abundance of his redemptive love that is the New Covenant that Jesus initiates in his ministry. Jesus brings to the world a love that is akin to a deep love a bridegroom has for his bride to make something, new, deeper and better. The headwaiter remarks, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus thereby announces that he is taking what was good in the Old Testament times and making it infinitely better by his ministry. John does not relate the reaction of Jesus’ disciples to this miracle directly but indirectly when he writes rites, “Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-11. “There are different workings (spiritual gifts or service) but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.” “One and the same Spirit produces all of these (spiritual gifts), distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” Through his ministry Jesus is building a new Holy People of God through the work of the Holy Spirit that includes all peoples and not just Jews. Psalm 96 says, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands.” “Tell his glory among all the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.” Through Jesus’ ministry God’s power flowed then and now into all peoples to build his new Church, to create his new bride.