Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Wedding At Cana

We all have an idea on how busy and sometimes even a little stressful wedding planning can get. For myself, I left a lot of details and planning to Melissa. She had a good idea of what she wanted for our wedding, and I loved every part of it. However, the one thing that I wanted to be a part of more than any other was deciding the scripture readings for the Ceremony.

This was one of the better things we enjoyed about our wedding, but also the most difficult. The toughest part was narrowing it down to four passages from Scripture. The Old and the New Testament, the Psalms and the Gospels all have so many great passages, and we did our best to decide which ones we wanted for our special celebration.

Here I want to focus on the Gospel of John Chapter 2, and more specifically, The Wedding at Cana. I’ve taken the time to study this chapter over the last few months looking at it light of two key points, the Eucharist and The Blessed Mother. It’s been both illuminating and enlightening for me. And I want to take the time right now to share with you what I initially hoped to hand out to everyone who attended our wedding but unfortunately never found the time to do so until now. Most important though, I would like to thank Father Scott for his homily at our service. Revealing to us to the connection between Mary (who Jesus refers to as ‘woman’) and Eve (who God refer to as ‘woman’ in the Book of Genesis). Father Scott explained to us as Eve was called to be the mother of all living in the Old Testament, Here in the New Testament we have Mary being called as a new Eve, the mother of all living. And again, its not coincidence that Christ refers to her as ‘woman.’

Here we are at The Wedding at Cana. I sometimes wondered why Jesus chose a wedding celebration for the scene of His first public miracle? Then I remembered somebody in the Book of Exodus who preformed a smiliar miracle, Moses. Moses changed the waters of the Nile into blood (Exodus 7:14-22) in the Old Covenant. Jesus now changes water into wine, ushering in His New Covenant. He offers the New Wine, purchased by the shedding of His blood on the cross for our redemption.

Moreover, the wedding at Cana prefigures the marriage feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7). We should all understand how weddings play an important role in our lives as they do in Sacred Scripture. I like to ask, whose idea was marriage anyway? Does the sacrament of matrimony make any difference from just living together? Or is it just a matter of a piece of paper as some might suggest? Since Jesus and His Mother, Mary, chose to attend this wedding and then played instrumental roles in it, it might help to look at the sacrament of marriage a little more closely.

Marriage was at the hear t of God’s plan from the beginning. God said, “it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, in the very act of creation, God creates woman and brings her to the man, that they may become one flesh. God has been in the matchmaking business from the very beginning. And just as the couple at Cana invited Jesus to their wedding, Melissa and I have invited Jesus into our marriage relationship. We invite God to be the third person who holds our marriage together.

We all know how marriage has come under attack in contemporary society. The permanence today of one man and one woman faithful until death has come down to partners deciding to walk away from marriage whenever they wish. So, how can marriage withstand the storms and tribulations that occur in life if the Lord is not invited? Without the presence of God and the grace of the sacrament, marriages begin to turn and fall, especially when they remain in the same direction that society has come to accept. The couple at Cana invited Jesus to their wedding. In hard times, one spouse may lift up the other and when both are down, Jesus can hold them together in the midst’s of the storm. God’s grace is always available in the sacrament, for those who call upon Him and seek His help.

I’d like to leave with a quote from Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 48.1

Marriage is God’s Plan. Sacred Scripture begins with creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of the “Wedding Feast of the Lamb.” The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator. . God Himself is the author of marriage.

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