Jesus is the new wine that is better than the wine served earlier.  Those who drink it worthily discover the new life and the true meaning of joie de vivre.

Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.  In doing so, he performs the first of his seven signs.

‘Signs,’ yes, and not ‘miracles,’ is the name that the Gospel of John gives to Jesus’ wondrous deeds.  That is because they are there not just to make us wonder but, above all, to point to who Jesus is. They teach us about Jesus’ true identity.  In other words, their deeper meaning, when discovered, makes for faith and understanding.

The changing of water into wine means or signals that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.  The water in the jars that Jews use for ceremonial washings stands for the old order.  The wine, which the water has become, refers to the new order that Jesus brings in.

And in this new order love fulfills and sums up the whole law.  Little wonder, then, that the sign happens at a wedding, a joyful celebration of love.  And it is fitting, too, that it has to do with wine, since wine symbolizes joy and love.

But the love to which the sign points is not just any love.  Rather, it is the love, first of all, that comes from God.  He loves us so much that he gives his only Son, so that those who believe in him may have eternal life.  It is the love that became flesh in Jesus, who teaches:

This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Clearly, then, this love reaches its peak of greatness on Calvary.  Its hour of glory is the crucifixion, so that joie de vivre finds its true meaning on the cross.

Lord Jesus, give us your mother’s attentiveness and concern.  And as we say to you in so many ways, “They have no wine,” and share our gifts, may we become your signs.  Signs of your love to the end, of your giving up your body and shedding your blood for us.  Help us understand that there is no better place to be than at the foot of the cross (SV.EN I:155).  There as your Church, your bride in which you rejoice, whom you love and for whom you hand yourself.  Standing there, too, with your mother.

20 January 2019
2nd Sunday in O.T. (C)
Is 62, 1-5; 1 Cor 12, 4-11; Jn 2, 1-11

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