January 17, 2016 - 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Our world seems to be running out of wine. ISIS and radicalized Islam have declared war on the world through terrorism. This has created the Syrian refugee crisis. We are faced with jittery world markets and a slowing world economy.
Our nation seems to be running out of wine. The evening news tells of a plague of mass shootings, a shaky job market, a presidential election that’s shaping up to be a circus.
Our state seems to be running out of wine and money. So does our local community.
We probably even feel like we are running out of wine ourselves. We tend to worry and fret over all the things I just mentioned, many of which are beyond our ability to control.
I wonder if the the bride and groom realized that they were about to run out of wine at their own wedding party. There’s nothing they could have done about it. It would have only caused them needless worry and anxiety?
What motivates Mary to intervene? We can’t know for sure but she must have had some concern for the reputation of the couple and their families. She must have had a desire to be helpful.
She brings her concern to her son with faith that he can do something. I think it is fascinating that Jesus doesn’t really do all that much. He speaks a Word. Go draw water.
Jesus is the Word, the Word made flesh, the Word spoken to us by God the Father.
And Jesus’ Word has effect. He speaks and things come into being. He speaks and water turns into wine.
Mary points out the crisis and the stewards draw the water. They are really the ones who do all the work.
The stewards who drew the water knew that it was not wine. But the chief steward certifies that it is a superior wine, much nicer than anything the couple could have provided. And much more than was necessary.
The six water jars held at least 120 gallons. That’s 600 bottles of wine or 50 cases. That’s an abundance. After Jesus speaks, they are no longer out of wine.
The Gospel writer calls this miracle of water turned into wine a sign. A sign of what? A sign that Jesus brings about an abundance.
Not just an abundance of wine, an abundance of grace, an abundance of mercy, an abundance of forgiveness, an abundance of joy, an abundance of life filled to the brim.
But for Jesus to say the word, somebody has to do the work. That’s where we come in.
Like Mary, we have to intervene when friends and family are in crisis. Like the stewards, we have to draw the water of mercy.
Then and only then can Jesus say the word and the water turns to wine in abundance, filled to the brim.