Thoughts on The Wedding Feast at Cana


About a week ago, our St. Ignatius parish team stayed after the Mass of the Baptism of Jesus to put away the creche and all the Christmas decorations. And this week all the decorations at the Jesuit residence are stored away also.  But I still keep Christmas in my heart and I confess to listening my German Christmas carols that I didn’t get to during the season.

I m so happy that the 2nd Sunday of ordinary time still resonates the Christmas season. Both the wedding and the miracle of the wine are so appropriate for this transition to ‘ordinary” time. I think the little prayer the priest says at Mass when he puts the drop of water into the wine at the offertory: “through the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ , who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

In Jesus earth is joined to heaven again. As John the Baptist reminded those complaining that everyone was leaving him and going to Jesus.  Jesus is the bridegroom! He is only the friend of the bridegroom!  We, the Church, are the bride. And there is more.

In St. John’s account of the miracle, Jesus transforms six hundred six hundred litres of water into some 150 gallons of fine wine! (It’s good to remember that wedding celebrations in those times extended through a week.) I think though that the more important transformation happened in his disciples. In John’s Gospel this miracle occurs Jesus calls his disciples John, Andrew,  Simon Peter and Nathanel. In the story clearly the miracle is not for everyone. Only the servants, Jesus’mother, and the disciple know what Jesus did. He changes the water into wine as a sign , a revelation, to his disciples of his identity! He is the messiah.

It is wonderful that at the end of the Christmas the Church joins the Wedding feast at Cana with the Nativity, the Epiphany, and the Baptism of Jesus. In each there is a revelation: the angels reveal the messuah to the Shepherds, the Father and Spirit reveal Jesus as God’s beloved son, and at the wedding feast by transforming the water into wine Jesus reveals to the disciples his identity as God.  As St. John states this sign “revealed his glory” and “ his disciples believed in him.”

I am happy still to bask in the glow of wonderful revelations celebrated during the past few weeks! And I end the Christmas season by making the Euchariistic prayer, “may He make of us an everlasting gift for you,”my prayer.  May you do the same.

Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ, is pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Winnipeg.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 09:24h, 22 February Reply

    Thank you Frank!

  • Susan Garbett+Snidal
    Posted at 04:05h, 26 February Reply

    You listen to your German carols, Father! I have always liked the part in the British movie of a Christmas Carol where the spirit addresses Scourge…
    Spirit of Christmas Present: “Mortal! We Spirits of Christmas do not live only one day of our year. We live the whole three-hundred and sixty-five. So is it true of the Child born in Bethlehem. He does not live in men’s hearts one day of the year, but in all days of the year.” So may we have the child live in our hearts all the days. Every day is Christmas Day!

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