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Covenant With God

Peace be with you!

The readings this weekend draw us to contemplate the deep, passionate love that God has for the human race— especially for the people he calls his own, the Church.  These readings enhance the meaning of the covenant relationship of baptism that we enter with God through Jesus’ baptism.

In the first reading from Isaiah, the people are just returning from exile—a place of servitude and slavery.  It is a time of transition which includes the mix of feelings that always accompany change but the message is overall one of great hope and bright promise!  This first reading serves as a spring board for the Gospel.

The Gospel story of the wedding at Cana is the first of Jesus’ signs that announce God’s presence among us and that the fulfillment of all promises is taking place!

The wedding is symbolic of the marriage of mankind with God.  This union of two natures is present in the water and the wine and the person of Jesus as Son of God and Son of Man.  Mary appears in the story as one who understands the needs of the people and as one who speaks or intercedes on their behalf before God.  Mary knows that Jesus is the Savior and the source of all grace for the human race.  When she tells Jesus “they have no wine,” she is asking Jesus to remember the love and compassion he has for humanity and to fulfill his promise to save them by letting his divine love and grace flow upon them to heal the division between men and women and restore harmony and peace to the human race by reconciling them with God: to free them from sin.  Jesus responds that his “hour has not yet come” because the consummation of the new covenant is not until he offers his body and blood on the cross for his bride the Church.  Jesus must accomplish the expiation of our sins at the appointed hour.  Mary understands what Jesus means but she also knows that she is the first among the redeemed.  Because she was given this favor from God at the beginning of her life, she also asks a share in this grace for the people that God was preparing to be his bride.  Mary’s words to the servants are also directed to us: “do whatever he tells you.”   At Mary’s request, Jesus generously shows his love by giving them a foretaste of the new covenant symbolized by the best wine.

When I think of Cana, I am awed by the interplay between Jesus and Mary and the attentive care they have for every person.  In my brief reflection, I have only hinted at some of the deep realities contained in this scripture passage.  I hope that you find yourself rejoicing as you savor the new wine of God’s gifts of love that are yours.  I hope that you can be awestruck when you look at your spouse and children and contemplate how great the gift of a human life is.  I also hope that you are even more awestruck at how the gift of divine life comes to us through the sacraments!  God bless you always! +++ Fr. Peter

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