Rosary – Luminous Mystery #2: Wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.  When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”  And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”  His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.  Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.  He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it.  When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”  This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a burning torch.  The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will give.  You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My delight is in her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.  For as a young man marries a virgin,  so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.  Is 62:1-5

Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?  The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.  Luke 5:34-35

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.”  Rev 21:2-4

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.   Eph 5:25-32

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.  Gen 3:15

On the threshold of his public life Jesus performs his first sign – at his mother’s request – during a wedding feast. The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana.  She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage and the proclamation that thenceforth marriage will be an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence.  CCC 1613

The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification.  It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.  CCC 1335


On one level the wedding feast is just that.  A wedding feast, to which Jesus is present, at which he performs a miracle.  We see Jesus making 120-180 gallons of excellent wine.  Let us put aide all silliness as regards the goodness of wine specifically, and alcohol generally.  We see Mary interceding for those in need, and her Son acceding to her requests.  We see Jesus manifesting his glory, and hastening his “hour” (cf. John 12:23).  All true.  All good.  The Church also sees Jesus presence at the wedding a “confirmation” of the proclamation that marriage will be a sacrament.  He will be efficiaciously present in every sacramental marriage.

But there is much more, and it relates to the notion that Christ has come to wed his bride (cf. CCC 1335).  He is the bridegroom (Luke 5:34).  The Church is the bride (Eph 5:25ff).  He tells his mother that his hour has not yet come.  What hour is this?  The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified (John 12:23).  When is this hour?  There is a further clue.  He calls his mother “woman”, which is a reference to Genesis 3:15.  It is not yet the hour for the Son to crush the serpent’s head.  The crucifixion is both the bruising of the Son’s heal and the crushing of the serpent’s head.  “Woman” also evokes Gen 2:23, where it states, she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Flash foward to John’s account of the crucifixion, where we are told that one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.  The New Eve, the Church, is “taken out of Man”, born from the new Man’s, the new Adam’s side through water (baptism) and blood (Eucharist).  The Church is his spotless bride, adorned for her husband, holy and without blemish.  The wedding of Cana is a sign of a greater wedding, the wedding of the Bridegroom and the Bride, whom he created from his side and wed on the cross.  He washes us with water, feeds us with his blood, made from wine.


~ by Rob on January 17, 2010.

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