The first miracle recorded in the Gospel of St. John is the one that is performed at the wedding of Cana. In this passage, we see that the Blessed Virgin Mary has asked Jesus to make more wine for there was very little wine left. She probably does this in an attempt to save the bride’s family some embarrassment which of course suggests that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the bride most likely were fairly close. Jesus does as his mother asks and makes more wine.
There is much that we could say about these water jars and how Jesus makes the wine, however I would like to focus on how this applies to the Eucharist. In the passage today Jesus turns the water into wine. He uses material that the party already had and makes what the people need. Consider also that the water was usually not very good to drink all the time in that day. So, we see that Jesus can make wine come from any substance. This of course reminds us of the Eucharist. Jesus gives us his blood by taking wine and transforming it into the substance of his blood to give to us as a Sacrament. It is interesting to note that when Jesus performs this first miracle we see a very interesting Greek word used which denotes the idea that power has come from Jesus Himself for the purpose of this great miracle.
In the Church over the centuries there have been many interpretations as to how the Sacrament of the Eucharist is celebrated. The Orthodox have a view, the Roman Catholics another, and other evangelicals more diverse views. We see that Jesus performs a great miracle for our benefit. As Jesus says to His mother, “What have I to do with thee?” Jesus gives us this Sacrament not for His benefit but for ours. He gives us what we need so that we would not pay the consequence of our sins, just as the family of the bride would have had a great stigma on them had the wine run out at the feast. Jesus sustains in the same way the family of the bride, the Church, through His blood. A blood that He would give for us. So, as you take the Eucharist today remember that He gives you His body and blood to edify you both physically and spiritually. He wants you to be sanctified in Word and Sacrament. God bless you as you receive our Lord in Word and Sacrament.
Fr. Brandon Cribbs