Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the wonderful works of the Lord, which He had performed before all for the first time in the flesh, as the Gospel passage today related to us the story of the miracle at the wedding ceremony held in Cana. I am sure that all of us are familiar with this miracle, how the Lord Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine, when the wedding couple ran out of wine for their very important day.
In order to better understand the significance of this miracle, we must understand the context and historical importance of what had happened at that time. A wedding ceremony is a very important event in the life of the person, according to the traditions of the Jewish people, and in fact, a wedding involved not just the two persons who were getting married, but rather, the whole community, as everyone rejoiced together when a man and a woman is joined in sacred matrimony.
On such an important day, for the wedding couple to run out of wine is tantamount to a massive embarrassment that can affect them for the rest of their lives. As the bride and the groom and their respective families were usually in charge of the celebration and festivities, and all the details with regards to the wedding ceremonies, running out of wine can be interpreted as a sign of misfortune, disgrace and lack of divine favour for the marriage.
That was why the wedding couple in that Cana’s wedding was likely to be worried and distraught, as their own reputation and families were under grave threat. Thus, they sought the help of the Lord, by the help of His mother, Mary, to whom they sought for help. The Lord Jesus was reluctant to help them, as it was not yet His time to reveal Himself before the people, but His mother Mary helped the wedding couple, by asking the servants to listen to the Lord’s words and obey Him.
In the end, the Lord commanded the servants to fill up jars of water used for purification purpose, and then bring some of the water to the steward of the wedding. Miraculously, the water has been turned into wine, by the power of the Lord. This was the first miracle that He performed before the people openly, and the wedding couple was indeed saved from the humiliation and shame that they could have endured had the Lord not miraculously turned the water into wine.
Last week, as we begun the current season of Ordinary Time, we had the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which marked the official beginning of His earthly ministry, when He revealed Himself to the greater community. And today we heard of the moment of His first miraculous deed among the people. There were many more miracles He was to perform among the people, healing the sick, casting out demons and evil spirits, feeding multitudes of people miraculously, and many more.
This is the fulfilment of what the Lord had promised to His people through the prophets, particularly the prophet Isaiah, who has spoken widely on the coming of the salvation in the Messiah Who was to come. And all of these have been fulfilled in Christ, the Messiah Who was promised, the Lord Jesus, Who came into the midst of His beloved people, performing God’s many wonderful works and miracles. And He called many disciples and followers to walk in His footsteps, to continue the good works He had begun.
The Lord had mercy on His people, because He saw how despicable the state they were in, and how great their sufferings had become, all because of their own sins and disobedience. He wants to reconcile them to Himself, to forgive them from their sins and their disobedience, because of His enduring and boundless love for each and every one of us. He showed His compassion when He decided to help the wedding couple at Cana, even though it was not yet His time to reveal Himself through His miracles. Yet, He was moved and did the miracle because of His love for them.
Now, brothers and sisters in Christ, what St. Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in the city of Corinth spoke of the various gifts that God has bestowed upon each and every one of us, and the calling which He had made to us, to embrace those gifts and talents, which have been given to us for a purpose. And that purpose is for the glorification of God as well as for the benefit and good of our fellow mankind. For God’s works in this world are not yet completed and His mission for us is still yet in progress.
He gave His followers and disciples a very important commandment before He ascended into heaven. This commandment is that all of them must go forth and be witnesses and preachers of the Good News and the truth that He has revealed to the world. They are to go forth proclaiming the Lord’s truth and baptise peoples of all the nations in the Name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. And thus this has been the mission entrusted to the Church, that is all of us the faithful people of God, to the end of time.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, to this end, the Lord Himself had said to His disciples, that He would give them the Helper, the Holy Spirit of God Who will guide them and teach them what they needed to know. And thus the Spirit granted us various gifts, for our respective missions and roles as members of the Church of God. We cannot do everything on our own, and no matter how much we try, there are always a lot of work that needs to be done.
Some of us have been called to a greater ministry of the diaconate, priesthood and the episcopate, dedicating ourselves to the service of God. These are those of us who have been called to the consecrated life, dedicating our whole lives and energies to serve both God and His people. But it does not mean that if we are not a deacon, or a priest or a bishop, then we are less important or have less responsibilities or things to do. In fact, the laity are still called to a great purpose and responsibility as members of the same Church of God.
The priests of God serve the whole Church, ministering to us all and celebrating the Sacraments of the Church. But without the support of the laity, those who have devoted their lives as priest, deacons and bishops will have a very hard time in fulfilling the good works and missions of the Church. The laity’s support in various ways are important, as I have mentioned earlier, in how we have been given many gifts, unique to each one of us.
For example, in those who have been called to the married life and creation of families, as symbolically mentioned in our Gospel passage today of the Wedding at Cana, we have a very important role to play in the Church, as the good and faithful Christian families are the basic units and pillars of the Church. It is in the family that the children learn first of the faith, and practice that same faith. If the family is not functioning as it should have, or diverged from the true faith, then we may end up having people losing their faith, especially those who are young among us.
And to others have also been given various other gifts, as administrators, volunteers and advocates, giving our respective talents to benefit God’s people. That is how the Church is able to reach out to so many people and to so many communities, by the tireless and numerous contributions of its members, both that of the laity and the priests alike. And now, we are also called to do the same with our own lives, if we have not done so thus far.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we are called to reflect on our own lives, and how each and everyone of us can contribute, no matter how small it is, to the whole good works of the Church, fulfilling the mission that God has entrusted to us, and commanded us to do. Just as the Lord began His first miracle at that wedding in Cana, fulfilling the will of His Father and loving God’s people, then we should also begin our own ministry, in loving God and in loving our fellow men, if we have not already done so.
Let us all pray, that in the depth of our hearts and minds, God may reveal to us and that we may discover and discern carefully what we need to do as faithful members of His Church and as His followers and disciples in our present day world, in our respective communities and families. Let us all give what we can give to serve the Lord and His people, using our own talents and abilities for the good of all people. Let us not hesitate any longer but be courageous in living our faith from now on.
May the Lord continue to guide us in our journey of life, and may He give us the strength to be missionaries of faith, in contributing our talents and abilities for the missions and works of His Church, from now on. May God always bless us all and our good works and endeavours, now and forevermore. Amen.