Among the many Christmas cards I received this Christmas was the announcement of my cousin’s son’s engagement and a wedding in October. October seems so far away and yet, I thought, “What do I get Greg and his fiancee?” Unlike earlier generations, this couple has no need for dishes or kitchenware; they have a starter house and it is or will be furnished. And the least imaginative way to shop is the computerized gift registry! So I have a few months to shop!
In our Gospel today, Jesus and his mother have been invited to a wedding. And no one knows what gift he brought to this feast. However this wedding is quite different.
Why does St John begin his Gospel with a wedding story? John uses the wedding story as a metaphor to show us that there is new wine among us and that the marriage is really a marriage between heaven and earth, God and us.
At this wedding, Jesus performs the first of signs and revealed his glory. The revelation of Jesus’ glory is a sign of the persistence of God’s overtures of love to us-God’s espousal love for us.
Our encounters with Jesus – in prayer, through others, in struggling with daily dying – are truly revelations of God’s glory that invites us to respond with belief. These signs come in many ways – through others in a cry for help, in a lonely person’s plea for companionship, in spontaneous laughter, in the beauty of nature. The challenge for us is to see ourselves as the good wine, emptied out for others to be filled with the goodness of God’s glory.