Isaiah 62: 1-51 Corinthians 12: 4-11John 2: 1-11
I suspect that this passage from the Gospel of Saint John is one of the favorite miracle stories from the New Testament. I have frequently heard references to it along with a sighing “if only” this could happen.
Saint John built his account of the Gospel message around different “signs” that were performed by Jesus. “Signs” were wondrous deeds that revealed the nature and the role of Jesus as Messiah and Savior in our presence. In this first public demonstration of what Jesus was about and what he was to do as the Word-made-flesh, as God with us, he reveals that he is in our world to make known the loving presence of God.
Jesus is in the world to accomplish for us the rich symbolism of restoration that we heard from the prophet Isaiah. Like Jerusalem that had been destroyed and left desolate by those who had conquered it, humanity, mankind, we ourselves, longed for restoration of the union and relationship with God that has been harmed by sin, by the rejection of God, Now, through Jesus Christ, we could experience that relationship once again. We were to “be espoused,” made whole again, in a union with God such as is reflected in the intimacy of true marriage.
Giving consideration to the imagery in this account, we night do well to think of ourselves as water. Gathered in a jar, water is naturally refreshing. But it also lacks the richness and vitality of wine. Gathered together as we are in the jars that are life, we can be transformed. We can be given depth and richness because of the action and presence of Christ. Through Christ the water of our lives can take on the richness, the vitality, the genuine refreshment of wine that comes from a union with our Creator God.
We are the water transformed into wine by the presence of Christ and, as a result, we can reflect the love of our God in our liver, each in our own way. By each one of us employing the gifts, the abilities we possess in simply the way we go about living and in ways differing from one another but found in each one of us, we can reveal the presence of the goodness of God.
We can understand this first “sign” in the Gospel of Saint John as a real introduction to the whole ministry and mission of Jesus. It is a call made to us to be open to being transformed by his message, to being changed from common water into rich wine as children of our loving Father.
Jesus, according to John, began his ministry at the celebration of a wedding. God has come into our world to celebrate with us the possibility of being in a relationship with God and so reveal God more clearly in and through us. Like the water that was transformed we are able to be transformed through Christ’s presence with us. It is this presence that we share now in the Eucharist so that we might go forth from hear to reveal and to reflect our truly good and gracious God.