January 16, 2022
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we read about Jesus’s first public miracle at Cana. It is a story that has always fascinated me, mostly because of what is left unsaid – what is written between the lines.
The Gospel begins by telling of a wedding and “the mother of Jesus was there”. The suggestion is that Mary had been staying at the wedding site and that she had a special role in the preparations. Perhaps she was the aunt or good friend of the bride or groom. Whatever the case, Mary seems to have had some unique responsibility for the ceremony’s success.
This responsibility motivates her to solicit Jesus’s help when she notices the wine is running out. Did she expect a miracle in return for her remark? We don’t know. Perhaps she just wanted Jesus and his young friends to run down to the local wine store for replenishments.
It was Jesus who decided to turn the request into an occasion for a miracle. Why? It seems like a frivolous miracle when there were sick to be cured and dead to be raised!
The final lines of this section might help answer that question:
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in GalileeJohn 2:11
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.
Jesus decided to first reveal his glory at a wedding feast, a party, an ordinary celebration of life and love. The dramatic, life-saving miracles would come – demons grabbing pigs and diving headlong into the sea.
But this first one, the one his closest family and friends would especially remember, was all about joy, dancing, music, friendship – the divine strength of our shared and graced humanity.
Probably most of us don’t expect to encounter a really eye-popping miracle in our lives. But maybe in our challenges we, like Mary, could walk up behind Jesus and whisper, “This situation needs your touch”.
Oh, how Jesus might surprise us – by letting us pour out an everyday miracle right before our eyes! Let’s be aware today of the miracles we might take for granted – life, laughter, love, friendship, hope, courage, delight in nature ….
Poetry: The Gourd – Paul Laurence Dunbar
The poet suggests in these lines that it is in simplicity, and poverty of spirit, that life’s true miracles are revealed to us.
In the heavy earth the miner
Toiled and laboured day by day,
Wrenching from the miser mountain
Brilliant treasure where it lay.
And the artist worn and weary
Wrought with labour manifold
That the king might drink his nectar
From a goblet made of gold.
On the prince’s groaning table
Mid the silver gleaming bright
Mirroring the happy faces
Giving back the flaming light,
Shine the cups of priceless crystal
Chased with many a lovely line,
Glowing now with warmer colour,
Crimsoned by the ruby wine.
In a valley sweet with sunlight,
Fertile with the dew and rain,
Without miner’s daily labour,
Without artist’s nightly pain,
There there grows the cup I drink from,
Summer’s sweetness in it stored,
And my lips pronounce a blessing
As they touch an old brown gourd.
Why, the miracle at Cana
In the land of Galilee,
Tho’ it puzzles all the scholars,
Is no longer strange to me.
For the poorest and the humblest
Could a priceless wine afford,
If they’d only dip up water
With a sunlight-seasoned gourd.
So a health to my old comrade,
And a song of praise to sing
When he rests inviting kisses
In his place beside the spring.
Give the king his golden goblets,
Give the prince his crystal hoard;
But for me the sparkling water
From a brown and brimming gourd!
Music: Everyday Miracles ~ Sara Groves