ON OUR LORD’S CHANGING WATER INTO WINE AT THE MARRIAGE-FEAST OF CANA. ST. JOHN ii
Consider first, these words of the Gospel: ‘there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples.’ Happy marriage, which our Lord was pleased to honour with his presence, and with his first miracle! He himself was the author and first institutor of marriage; and, therefore, was pleased to give it a sanction and a blessing by assisting at it. He came to marry, as it were, by his incarnation, our human nature with his divine person; he came to marry himself to his Church, and by imparting to it a spiritual grace, to raise Christian matrimony to the dignity of a sacrament – which should be a sacred and mysterious sign of his perpetual union with his Church: he came to espouse our souls to himself; and, therefore, was pleased to favour this marriage (in which the contracting parties were, in all appearance, allied both in blood and virtue, to his Blessed Mother) with his first miracle. O how happy were they in inviting Jesus and Mary to their wedding! O how unhappy are they, who when they marry ‘shut out God from themselves and from their mind, to give themselves to their lust.’ Tob. vi. 17. ‘Over these the devil hath power,’ because they invite him, rather than Jesus, to their wedding. and is not this the true cause why so many marriages are unhappy for want of the blessing of Jesus?
Consider 2ndly, how, in the midst of the marriage-feast, wine was wanting, to teach us how deceitful are all the pleasures of the world, and how often they fail us, when we expect the most from them. O ’tis Jesus alone can furnish our immortal souls with the true ‘wine that cheereth the hearts of man.’ ‘Tis his love alone can present us with pure delights, which ring with them joy and peace, and a certain foretaste of heaven. he often changes, in favour of his friends, even the waters of ‘the torrent in the way’ into delicious wine, by the consolation he gives them in their labours and afflictions, and the spiritual blessings of his grace, for the advancing their souls in divine love, and bringing them nearer to himself, the source of all sweetness; whilst the world, the flesh, and the devil, do but delude us, by flattering our senses at first with a false sweetness, which quickly comes to an end, and leaves nothing behind it but bitterness, discontent, and remorse.
Consider 3rdly, that this miraculous change made by our Lord, of water into wine, (which was his first miracle,) was a prelude to another more miraculous change which he made at his last supper, and will continue to make by his ministers, even to the end of the world, of bread and wine into his own body and blood. With this wonderful miracle, he daily honours the wedding feast of his own espousals with our souls, in order to communicate himself to his spouses, and to unite them to himself. And by the means of this communication of himself to us he operates another no less wonderful change in us, by which he changes us in a manner into himself. The corporeal food we take, is by the means of our natural heat daily changed into our flesh and blood; but this spiritual food, like the fire which changes all things into itself is not changed into our substance, but changes and transforms our souls, as it were, into its own nature, to make them one with this bread of life; here by grace, hereafter by glory. O miraculous change! O blessed conversion!
Conclude to be ever thankful for all the wonders which the Son of God has wrought, and continues daily to work for thee; but particularly join with the Church at this time of Epiphany, in celebrating with love and gratitude, those three miracles, which were the forerunners of, and introductions to all thy good: thy vocation to the true faith, thy being regenerate in Christ by baptism, and admitted to his heavenly feast in the blessed Eucharist, in which thou art incorporated with him. O who can ever sufficiently love him and praise him for these great wonders of his love to us!