Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the Second Sunday after Epiphany, the beginning of the Sundays after Epiphany and we are still in the middle of the season of Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord. And as we proceed towards the upcoming season of the Lent, Holy Week and Easter, we move on from the birth and youth of Christ, and we began to hear His works and ministry in the readings which we heard today.
Our Lord Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan and that baptism marked the beginning of His ministry in this world. He called His disciples, the Apostles, and they followed Him. But He had not immediately started His works and miracles yet as He would later show to the world. He was tempted by Satan during His forty days sojourn in the desert and triumphed, and after He had called His first disciples, He likely returned to His home and His mother, Mary in Nazareth.
And it was to the wedding in Cana that His mother brought Him along, together with His disciples, and there He performed His first miracle, even though He did not intend to do it in the beginning. The couple met a big trouble on their wedding day, as they ran out of wine in the midst of that important occasion. This is truly a potentially very embarrassing event for the wedding couple, one that could have brought them shame forever.
For we have to understand that a wedding ceremony was a very important event and celebration in the society of the people of God, and it was written in the laws and the customs of the people, that such an event should be properly and thoroughly prepared. Many guests were to be invited and many people usually took part in such celebrations. Therefore, it is very important that the host, that is the couple celebrating their wedding, to provide as best as they could for their guests.
And wine is central to the celebrations of the wedding, just as it is central to the feasts and celebrations of the people of God. Wine is a symbol of joy, of celebration and of happiness, which also symbolise the happiness and joy the couple would have in their wedded life as husband and wife. To run out of wine on such an important occasion would be indeed the ultimate embarrassment and taboo as it would be seen as a very bad omen and a shame on the couple and their families.
Fortunately, as we heard in the Gospel, Mary intervened for their sake, and asking for the help of her Son, she sought to alleviate their problem. And even though Jesus was reluctant to help, as it was not yet His time to come to reveal His divinity to the people, but He listened to His mother’s request nonetheless. And we know the rest of the story. The water was turned into wine, and from having no wine at all, the couple received great praise and accolades for keeping the best quality wine until the end, the water turned to wine by Jesus.
From all these, we have two main things that we should learn and treasure from. The first one is the value and importance of marriage between man and woman. This is an institution and indeed the holy Sacrament that had been under constant attack and defilement in the recent years and decades, and as a result, our community and society begin to also lose their faith, because marriage is no longer viewed as sacred and as a result, the institution of the family is weakening too.
The wedding at Cana is a reminder for us all, that as Jesus chose to do His first miracle there, that we have to treasure married life for those of us who are already married, and we have to stay faithful to one another. We cannot overlook the importance of the family, and thus, all of us the faithful have to preserve the fullness of truth, our faith in our families, and this is the foundation of the strong faith we ought to have in all of us.
And secondly, that we have our Mother Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus, and the mother of us all as the guide, helper, and protector for us all. She is the mother of God, for she is the mother of Jesus, God made Man, and thus she sits now closest to the throne of her Son in heaven, the Almighty God and King of kings. And as she is the closest to our Lord, just as at Cana, whatever she requests to her Son is likely to be heard.
Therefore, it is good for us to deepen our devotion to Mary our mother, and through that the devotion we should have for our Lord Jesus Himself. We should ask for the protection and the prayers from our Blessed Mother, for if we, who like the wedding couple, encounter problems in this world, and if we ask her with the fullness of faith in God, then surely Mary will not hesitate to seek the help of Jesus her Son, and intercede for our sake on our behalf.
May Almighty God therefore bless all of us, and through Mary His mother, may He show us the path to salvation in Him. Let us all strengthen and renew our commitment to Him, and renew the love and faith in our families, treasuring the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony we have among us, and keeping our families ever strong and faithful, under the watchful eyes of our mother Mary and her Son, our Lord and God. Amen.