Readings: Is 62:1-5; 1 Cor 12:4-11; Jn 2:1-11
Transformation and new relationship with God are some of the key words that help to unlock the message of this Sunday. As we begin the Ordinary Time of the Year, the readings remind us of some themes we heard over the Christmas season. At Christmas we celebrated a new era that God inaugurated through the birth of Jesus. The readings help us this Sunday to see the characteristics of this new era through the manifestations of the Spirit in the Christian community and in our lives. We are led to realize that these manifestations are brought about by the variety of Spirit-filled ministries intended to be the source of Christian unity and not of fragmentation or division. One overarching theme this Sunday is renewal. In the first reading, Isaiah uses poetic metaphors that point to the renewal of God’s people. In that call for renewal, God promises to give his people a new name: “My Delight”. The Lord will espouse you; make you his bride and delight in you as a bridegroom delights in his bride. That marriage metaphor describes a new relationship with God that transforms our humiliation and setbacks to exaltation and joyful triumph. All that newness is from God, who creates a new people; a new land out of desolation; a new Spirit-filled community.
In the Gospel passage, the miracle of changing water into wine by Jesus, is a metaphor for the transformation of the world realized in the proclamation of the kingdom, in the ministry of Jesus that now begins publicly. The Church has traditionally seen this first sign by Jesus as the fourth manifestation in sequence since Christmas, Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord, which is followed by the story of Marriage of Cana. In this event, God reveals his Son again in the context of a marriage relationship. He works the first miracle in order to give a temporal favor, an earthly gift to save a newly married groom from embarrassment. The miracle is also a self-manifestation of who Jesus is. Just as He can change water into wine, similarly He can change our past into a different future; our talents into wonderful gifts for the Church. Jesus transforms ordinary lives to accomplish an extraordinary mission of entering into communion with Him and the Triune God. So what message do we take home this Sunday? 1) The marriage metaphor in the first reading describes a new spousal relationship with God that transforms our lives and makes the best version of ourselves. 2) Jesus transforms ordinary lives to accomplish an extraordinary mission of winning the war within. 3) The transformation of water into wine, points to the mystery of the kingdom of God that Jesus proclaims and brings into realization in His ministry.
©2019 John S. Mbinda