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A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[John 2:1–11]

THREE days after these events there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also, together with His disciples, was among the guests. While they were at table, the wine failed, and Mary said to Jesus: “They have no wine.” He answered: “Woman, what is it to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.” But Mary, knowing the goodness of her Divine Son, and convinced that He would not refuse her request, spoke to the waiters: “Whatever He shall say to you, do ye.”

Now there were in the room six water-jars of stone, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus gave orders to the waiters: “Fill the water-pots with water.” They immediately filled them to the brim. He then said to them: “Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.”

They did so; and the steward, not knowing whence the wine was, said to the bridegroom: “Every man at first sets forth good wine, and later on that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.” This first miracle Jesus wrought in Cana of Galilee, at the request of His Blessed Mother; and His disciples, seeing His divine power, believed in Him.

The object of our Lord’s miracles. We can see clearly by this story the reason why our Lord worked miracles. His first object was to induce men to believe in the divinity of His mission and in the truth of His doctrine (see the words of Nicodemus, chapter XV: “No man can do these miracles which Thou doest, unless God be with Him”). If God were with Jesus, then everything which He taught must be true, because God is only with what is true. The second object of our Lord’s miracles was to instruct men not only by words, but by deeds also. The miracle at Cana teaches us that we ought, according to our means, to help our neighbours in their necessities. It is also typical of that great and lasting miracle of divine love, power and wisdom, the changing of bread into the Body of our Lord Jesus, and of wine into His Blood. Thirdly, our Lord worked miracles in order to help men in their sufferings and necessities. By the miracle at the marriage-feast Jesus desired to deliver the bridegroom from an awkward dilemma, and to restore the festal joy. The help given was so lavish that a quantity of wine remained over after the feast; just as, later on, after the feeding of the five thousand, twelve baskets-full of bread remained over. Let us recognize in all this the goodness of Jesus, and appeal to His Sacred Heart for help in all our necessities, both spiritual and temporal.

The power of Mary’s intercession. This first miracle, which confirmed the faith of our Lord’s disciples, was wrought at Mary’s intercession, for it was by her persuasion that He first manifested His glory by a striking miracle at Cana instead of at Jerusalem. Let us contemplate Mary’s compassion on the distress of the poor bride and bridegroom, her living faith in the omnipotence of Jesus, and her confidence in His goodness. Mary is ever willing to help us by her intercession; but then we must obey her exhortation: “Whatever He (Jesus) shall say to you, do ye!”

Matrimony. By His presence at the marriage-feast of Cana Jesus honoured and sanctified marriage, which had already been instituted in Paradise. It was always from the beginning an indissoluble contract sanctioned by God. But now it is to become even more sacred and indissoluble. For Christ is going to make it a Sacrament and a symbol of His own union with the Church. Hence He comes here with the first fruits of His Church to celebrate, so to speak, a double marriage-feast, that of Himself and His Church, and that of the bridegroom and bride.

Lawful pleasures. The fact of our Lord taking part in the marriage-feast teaches us that it is lawful and pleasing to God that we should take part in innocent recreations and harmless pleasures, rejoicing with those who rejoice.

St. Joseph is not mentioned in this story, nor in any part of our Lord’s public life, even in His Passion. He had already died a blessed death in the arms of Jesus and in the presence of the Blessed Virgin. Therefore the Church invokes the faithful foster-father of Jesus as the patron of a happy death. We ask him for his intercession, that we, like him, may leave this world, united to Jesus by sanctifying grace, and especially united to Him in Holy Communion.

APPLICATION. Are your pleasures always of such a kind that Jesus and Mary might be present at them? Have you never taken part in sinful amusements, or pleasure in improper conversation and actions? Do you always avoid strife and quarrels with your companions? St. Paul says: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4).








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