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Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of John 2:1-11 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.01.17 (Sunday)

Miracles as Apologetics

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said; ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now.’

This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him. (NJB)

Jesus, the Second Son

Where is the truth in this myth?

Jesus was not magic.

God is not a miracle worker.

Read literally; this story is a lie. Jesus never turned water into wine. It is likely that the entire event never happened.

There was no wedding at Cana.

Mary did not call on Jesus to work wonders. People did not follow Jesus because they saw him to wonderful tricks.

So what is happening here? It is a narrative regarding the reversal of expectations.

It may be a story about Jesus and John the Baptist. It may be an apology of sorts; a defense of Jesus given to the followers of John.

John came first, but John was the lesser of the two. The people might have expected the best to come first, like the wine at the wedding, but like the stories of the Patriarchs, the second son was favored.

This is the best understanding. The Wedding of Cana is not a miracle story, it is a parable. It intends to convey this simple truth; Jesus does not carry the mantle of John, he carries the promise of the covenant.


2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

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