Jan 20, 2019

Raise your glass!

The Wedding Feast of Heaven and Earth:  

The wedding celebration at Cana provides a unique opportunity for us to take note of how God interacts in ordinary events of human life and changes the ordinary into the extraordinary.

At this stage in Jesus' growing up, he has left home, Nazareth - a very conservative and traditional religious and isolated town. Jesus went to Capernaum, a lakeside fishing resort that attracted people of every walk of life. He mixed with the local fisherman - that's where he meets up with Peter and Andrew. There are also Roman soldiers, merchants, Jews and Greeks, tourists and businessmen, pagans and tax collectors. Could any place be so far removed from the quiet and prayerful Nazareth?

The small village of Cana, located between Capernaum and Nazareth, was hosting a wedding party. Both Mary and Jesus were invited. Jesus arrives from Capernaum with his new disciples. Mary arrives from Nazareth with the extended family.  They would bring together two parties who would have been strangers to each other.  No doubt Mary was introduced to every one of her Son’s new friends.  Jesus also introduces us to her. Having accepted us all now as part of the family, it would be at the foot of the cross on Calvary that her Son would tell us to take her into our own home – to make Mary a part of our families.

The choice of the story of the Wedding Feast of Cana is not so much given to us as a reminder of the events of Christ’s early life, or his first sign. Cana was only the beginning of Christ’s miracles, miracles that continues right to this very day and into this very hour. This Mass is Christ's Wedding Banquet. The Gospel we have just listened to is an appetizer to this event here and now.

In this Holy Mass, we are the invited guests of the wedding feast of the Lamb where heaven and earth embrace. The priest is the stand-in for Christ the bridegroom. Even the servers and the ministers can be seen to take the place of his groomsmen and bridesmaids.  And a miracle also takes place here, in the presence of the disciples and the invited guests.  At that event in the village of Cana, water had been changed into wine.  At the event of this Mass, the bread and the wine is changed into the eternal body and blood of Christ- Christ the bridegroom who gives himself to the bride, his Church. 

This is the wedding between heaven and earth and we have been invited, not only to attend but also to participate. Christ the bridegroom gives his life for the Church his bride in the one eternal sacrifice of Calvary, where Mary is likewise in attendance. When we enter into this "joining",  our vows to Christ are renewed. Like the changing of water into wine – our own lives can also be changed, to take on a new rich character. Like any wine-tasting event, we don’t stop with an admiration of the label.  We have to open the bottle. We have to drink of God’s grace so that what is natural in our own lives can be fortified with enduring supernatural realities.

May our presence at and our participation in this Mass in the company of our mother Mary, give us a taste, here on earth, of the Banquet of Heaven. Whether we all partake of the wedding cake or not, we are all invited guests around the top table.  Simply being here in the presence of Christ, our hunger is satisfied, our thirst quenched. Raise a glass of praise and thanksgiving and be of good cheer!

Los milagros de la multiplicación de los panes, cuando el Señor dijo la bendición, partió y distribuyó los panes por medio de sus discípulos para alimentar la multitud, prefiguran la sobreabundancia de este único pan de su Eucaristía. El signo del agua convertida en vino en Caná anuncia ya la Hora de la glorificación de Jesús. Manifiesta el cumplimiento del banquete de las bodas en el Reino del Padre, donde los fieles beberán el vino nuevo convertido en Sangre de Cristo.

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