January 20, 2019

John 2:1
  On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
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We cannot evangelise in any ordinary way. To communicate the transforming powers of Jesus, words do not suffice, signs are needed. To evangelise is not only to speak, preach or teach, and it is certainly to to judge, threaten or condemn. It is necessary to reproduce with creative fidelity the signs that Jesus did to bring in the joy of God by making the lives of those peasants happier.

Much of the contemporary world needs the church to demonstrate signs that touch their lives and are warm and cordial, in order to discover in Christians the capacity of Jesus to alleviate suffering and the hardships of life.

JOSÉ A. PAGOLA: Following in the Footsteps of Jesus.
As we see in the first reading today, weddings are symbolic of the relationship between God and Israel. However the marriage between God and his people is in trouble and this is indicated by the phrase of Jesus mother when she says "they have no wine". Wine is the sign of joy and celebration and this is what us missing, and all the gallons of water for purification cannot put it right. But this is precisely why Jesus has come - to make the marriage happen, to bring us to union with God. What happens at Cana is a sign that points to the whole meaning of Jesus' life death and resurrection, a meaning that can only be fully understood after his 'hour'. As the disciples contemplate the marvellous outpouring (literally!) of God's love, symbolised by the best wine, that have come to believe in him - and this is what is asked of us too.



1. The story is a story of abundance, the abundance of the blessings God gives us. How have you been aware of the abundance of God’s blessings? Let the memories lead you to prayer of thanks and praise for the times in your life when that joy and fulfilment have been very real to you.

2. John uses a number of images (marriage, wine, feast, etc.) to symbolise the abundance of God’s love. Do you have a favourite image, or metaphor, that reminds you of the abundance of God’s love and blessings?

3. Jesus seeks the transformation of religion. The old religion, with its sacrifices, rituals and rules had lost the capacity to invigorate the lives of people and needed to be transformed – Jesus came as an agent of transformation. One could ask if religion today has also lost its capacity to attract, nourish, give hope and energise people today. It needs to return to a focus on Jesus. Where do you find a practice of religion with that kind of vitality?

4. The hour of Jesus had not yet come when the glory of God would be fully revealed, yet even so something of the glory of God was revealed in the sign that took place. For us also the revelation of the full glory of God lies in the future, but we do get glimpses along the way. Recall some of the signs that have revealed to you something of the glory of God, e.g., nature, art, friendship, etc.

5. Mary/Jesus. It is interesting to note that despite the apparent rebuff, Mary is the first person in the narrative to show (at the level of the action of the story) that the correct response to the presence of Jesus is to trust in him. When have you trusted in the word of Jesus like that? What relationships do you have that you can trust like that? Do you recall times when your trust was rewarded even when you had been initially disappointed?


Thought for the day

The (extra)ordinary experience of “everyday” love is itself a sacrament. As such, it mediates the love of God and gives us both an experience and a language by which we make speak of God, God who is love itself.

Open our eyes to recognise you at the heart of the “everyday” love which sustains and inspires us: whoever lives in love, lives in God and God in them