The Blue Mountains Franciscan Church
Sermon preached by Br. Luke Efo on Sunday 17th January 2016
Readings Isaiah 62:1-5 ; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11
In our first reading Isaiah told us:
“5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
In his letter to the Corinthians, St Paul said:
“12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”
Why am I repeating these passages, which you have just heard? Because they talk about unity. In the scriptures, we are told a married couple becomes one. St Paul’s comments about our different gifts being like different parts of the body, also speaks of unity.
And this unity brings us to the marriage of Cana. It was a wedding feast that Jesus, Mary and the disciples attended. It must have been wedding of close friends or relatives seeing as they had been invited to the gathering.
We have been taught through the ages, that this miracle at Cana is the first one Jesus did. John describes it thus:
“11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”
Now we could suggest that Jesus, given his reply to Mary, wasn’t going to do anything about the shortage of wine, but Mary forced his hand. And notice, it was Mary who told the servants they were to do as Jesus said. A clear sign of a confident mother who knows her son very well.
Also notice that we are not told how the miracle happened. There are no words, other than “fill the jars”, no prayer, no praising the Father – nothing. The water just changed. This is not the pattern of Jesus’s miracles that we are used to reading elsewhere. But I must confess this miracle is one of my favourite ones. Why? Because there was no request from anyone, other than Mary. It arose from, and was completed through, the actions of pure service, of pure love. There was a need and the need was simply met.
Now yes, it may be construed that there was perhaps in Jesus’s comments to her, a mild rebuke to Mary. But as mother who knew her son, she just ignored it. I like to think there was a strong non-verbal exchange between them. Perhaps a slight smile on Jesus’s face when he tells her off. And no doubt her look, in reply, which emphatically said: “I’ll fix you, my boy, don’t think you can fool me”.
A marriage between two people, a simple loving exchange between a mother and her son, a united body and a miracle at a wedding, all have one other thing in common – a joy filled relationship. Remember what Isaiah said:
“so shall your God rejoice over you.”
In today’s world we become focused on things that distract us from the joy, and hinder us in rejoicing, in our relationship with Christ. We, perhaps unknowingly, allow the strains and stresses to take a higher precedence than they deserve. Yes, I know we all have to live in this world, but I think we also need to remember that we can and perhaps should celebrate (like we would at a wedding) our relationship with the Holy Trinity.
So my challenge to you this week, is to do this. Find a quiet moment or two in your busy week, and celebrate the loving relationship that God wants for, and has with, us. Amen.