Opening the Word: The Bridegroom

By:   OSV Newsweekly

The feast of the Epiphany has traditionally been a celebration of three significant moments in the life of Christ.

First, the Church remembers the coming of the Magi from among the Gentiles, revealing to the world that the babbling babe is the great king of all the nations. Second, the Church meditates on the baptism of the Lord, the moment in which the now-adult Christ manifests his identity as the Son. Lastly, we remember that first sign of Christ in the Gospel of John — the wedding at Cana.

The wedding at Cana, in some sense, is the culmination of the entire Christmas season. For we learn that the God who espoused himself to humanity through taking flesh is also the God who will love us unto the end (cf. Jn 13:1).

In the Book of Isaiah, we hear about God, the Bridegroom. Israel is forsaken, despoiled by the Babylonians. In this sorrow, God’s voice thunders forth, promising a moment of vindication.

Israel will once more be called “espoused.” God, as a bridegroom, will rejoice in Israel, his bride.

The wedding at Cana points toward this final espousal. Jesus, along with his mother and his disciples, attend a wedding feast. The wedding feast was to last roughly seven days, an image of the couple’s own participation in the renewal of creation.

Importantly, the Bridegroom was responsible for wine that would last the length of the feast. But the couple has already run out of wine.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, calls out to her son, letting him know that there is no more wine. Jesus cryptically replies, “‘My hour has not yet come’” (Jn 2:4).

In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ hour refers to his death on the cross. This is the moment in which the darkness of sin and death is conquered through the depthless love of God.

The cross is the moment in which the hour has come, in which the wedding feast of the Lamb is to begin.

But, Jesus’ mother is persistent. She tells the servants to do whatever he says. Jesus, taking six water jars, transforms (unbeknownst to the assembled crowd) water into wine.

This “sign” in the Gospel of John points to the moment of the cross, revealing the identity of the Word made flesh. Jesus is the ultimate Bridegroom, who in the last of days has provided the best of all wine.

At this moment, God’s glory is revealed. Jesus is no ordinary wedding guest. He has come to inaugurate the divine wedding feast, where all humanity will be called to rejoice in this espousal.

The wedding of Cana within the Church has been closely linked to the Eucharist.

At Mass, we’re not celebrating our own private feast. Instead, we enter into the great wedding banquet of the Book of Revelation: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready” (Rev 19:7).

All humanity is called to this supper of the Lamb, where men and women will feast on the best of all wines — God’s very Body and Blood poured out for the redemption of the world.

We should no more feel obliged to attend Mass than we feel obligated to attend a wedding feast. Instead, we should come rejoicing, aware that the God who is love still dwells among us. And when we eat his Body and drink his Blood, we become brides of so wondrous a bridegroom.

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

Opening the Word: The Bridegroom

Thursday, January 17, 2019
By:  Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly The feast of the Epiphany has traditionally been a celebration of three significant moments in the... Read More

Larger issues await beyond wall, shutdown

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
By: Brian Fraga OSV Newsweekly Immigration, in normal political circumstances, polarizes the electorate and generates more heat than light in the... Read More

Hope in the ordinary

Sunday, January 13, 2019
By: Robert P. Lockwood OSV Newsweekly I always think of the opening line to Snoopy’s first novel in the old “Peanuts” cartoon:... Read More

Opening the Word: Unsentimental feast

Thursday, January 10, 2019
By: Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly For the Christian, sentimentality is a temptation. The sentimental person is so driven by the desire for... Read More

The Church and basic income proposals

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
By: Don Clemmer OSV Newsweekly Anxiety over getting replaced in a job can be a powerful impetus for people and lead to radical outcomes. Donald... Read More

St. Cecilia Dominicans

Sunday, January 6, 2019
By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion OSV Newsweekly Talk about good news. I recently received the quarterly magazine published by the Dominican Sisters of the... Read More

Opening the Word: Honoring the family

Thursday, January 3, 2019
By:  Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly Advertising tends to romanticize family life. Christmas meals are celebrated on pristine tables, while... Read More

Diocesan WYD celebrations blend local, universal Church

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
By: Paul Senz OSV Newsweekly From Jan. 22-27, millions of young Catholics will convene in Panama City, Panama, for World Youth Day. They will come... Read More

Honoring the family

Thursday, December 27, 2018
By: Timothy P. O'Malley OSV Newsweekly Advertising tends to romanticize family life. Christmas meals are celebrated on pristine tables, while... Read More

Missionary’s death elicits varied responses

Tuesday, December 25, 2018
By: Brian Fraga OSV Newsweekly In his last command before the Ascension, Christ commanded the apostles to make disciples of all nations. Through... Read More

Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!