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The Wedding at Cana | John 2:1-12
All throughout the Old Testament, God promises that when the Messiah comes, there will be a wedding feast with wine and much rejoicing. In Isaiah 25:6, God promises to Israel, “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” Even more, God promises in the Old Testament that at this great wedding feast, he himself will be the Bridegroom, and Israel will be his bride: “I will betroth you to me forever,” God says to in Hosea 2:19. Again God says to Israel in our OT reading for today, “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
All of these texts are behind today’s Gospel. At first reading, the Lord’s first miracle in Cana doesn’t seem to make much sense. We understand miracles of healing and rescue. But why would Jesus choose his first miracle to be the transforming of water into wine, at a wedding when everyone had already imbibed to the full? Nobody needed the wine for health or survival. It seemed unnecessary and even frivolous that he would spend a miracle on this!
But then, when we realize that Jesus is himself the very Messiah come to wed his chosen people to himself we start to understand. At the miracle of the changing of water into wine, we see that Jesus is the Bridegroom. We see the OT promises about the Messiah coming, and bringing a wedding feast, are here fulfilled in him. When he comes, the waiting—and fasting! is over. His is the kingdom of feasting and rejoicing. He is the Bridegroom. We, the Church, are his bride. He blesses us superabundantly, giving us more than we need, even though we neither deserved nor merited his love, because he is a God of grace. He makes our cups to overflow with the wine of grace and favor. He takes us to be his own when he gives his life for us, sacrificially unto death, to cleanse us of every sin and make us his radiant and spotless bride.