January 16, 2022; John 2: 1-12; 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s gospel Jesus changes water into wine, but the important question is, why does he do this? What is there in this particular scene that justifies a miracle by Jesus? After all there is no one there who is sick or dead, no one who is lame, blind, or hungry, no one in danger of drowning in the sea. So, what does Jesus see in this particular event that warrants his intervention? About the only thing I can suggest is that Jesus wanted to save the young married couple from the embarrassment of running out of wine at their wedding. But is embarrassment enough to justify a miracle? The mother of Jesus thinks that it was. She appreciated what an important day this was for the newly married couple and how important it was to avoid the stain that could come upon their celebration. Mary knew the importance of a good beginning. Jesus initially was not sure. He tells his mother, “My hour has not yet come.” It is as if is he’s saying, “Can’t this couple wait until I get my ministry up and running and then I’ll be glad to come back to Cana and help them however I can.” Mary disagrees. She believes Jesus needs to act today because today is their wedding day. Today is their only wedding day. Today is the day at which they begin to commit themselves to one another as husband and wife, the day on which they are to look back and gain strength for the challenges of married life that is to come. Marry wants this day to be solid and happy. She believes that this young couple deserves a good beginning.
Beginnings are important, and the story at Cana tells us that we all deserve a good beginning. We know this. This is why we place such importance on the education of our children because we know that unless they begin life with accurate knowledge and clear thinking the rest of life could be endangered. This is why our government spends as much as if does on Head Start. Everyone needs to eat, but young children need nourishing food to develop properly and to learn.
Today’s gospel invites us to ask ourselves who do we know who is beginning and what can we do to support them. If you have children or grandchildren who are beginning life or beginning school, now is the time to show them your love and support. The love and support you show today is much more important than the love you may show in the years to come. You may have learned important skills in your job. You should ask, “Who is beginning a career and how can I be of assistance?” The support you give to someone today who is beginning a career is much more valuable the advice you might offer once that person is established. Married couples collect wisdom in the years of living together. You should ask yourselves who do you know who is beginning a marriage. The wisdom you could share now would help them for years to come.
We do not know how many years the marriage that was celebrated at Cana lasted or how successful a marriage it turned out to be. But we do know that it had a good beginning. Mary believed that this young couple deserved that. We all do. So, who do you know who you can help begin today?