1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
John 2: 1-11
Recently, I have learned the meaning of a new phrase, and that phrase is “back story.” One definition is that it is a literary device used by some writers, to create a history or biography for a character, or events that lead up to the current incident the author is writing about. The back story may be just for the author’s benefit, to help in writing about a present moment in the story.
After going through today’s Gospel reading, I find myself wondering as to what was the back story for the wedding feast of Cana. The passage hints that the wedding party had a good number of waiters or servants in attendance, with a head waiter in charge. The size of the water jugs seems to indicate that there were a lot of guests invited, who would be using them for the ceremonial washings. So I am speculating that somebody in the wedding party had, as saying goes, “a lot of brass!” So how does it come about that Mary, the mother of Jesus, a simple woman from Nazareth, gets invited to this wedding? It could be that she was a relative from the poorer side of the family. She must have been loved and respected to be invited, and of course, they would have to invite her son, Jesus, who was developing a reputation as an itinerant preacher
Mary is observant, she notices the distress among the servants responsible for pouring the wine; she sees the wine is running low, and she knows what dishonor it could bring to the married couple. She turns to her son, who tells her that this is not the moment. But Mary knows; deep down in her heart, where she has reflected on everything that has happened up to this moment, that now is the hour. And the rest is, as they say, history.
However, I think we should notice something, the groom and the head waiter are clueless as to what has happened. It is not to the people who live “Upstairs” that this miracle is revealed; but to the ones who are “Downstairs.” And we can imagine these servants, the ones who prepared the water jugs, going to their families and telling them of what they had witnessed. And soon the word gets out throughout their neighborhood. And soon, all of Cana is abuzz, as is the rest of Galilee. And everyone is talking about this country rabbi, by the name of Jesus. And his disciples are now aware that there is something more to this Jesus of Nazareth.
We all know what the something is; we know that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, who died and is risen, who has freed us from the power of sin and death. If we know this, then we cannot keep this a secret; “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.” (Isaiah: 62: 1) We are entering a process to reorganize the Catholic communities of Beverly into a collaborative. The aim of this process is more than just preserving the status quo; their ultimate goals is to give us the resources to go out and be evangelizers, to got out and proclaim the Good News. We are all called, by virtue of our baptism into Body of Christ, to participate in the prophetic role of Jesus. Does this mean that we all become street corner preachers? Maybe! However, what I would ask all us to do is to reflect on the words of St. Paul from the second reading. We all receive different gifts from the Holy Spirit, which are meant to be used in building up the Body of Christ. This means taking the time for prayer and reflection, to become aware of the gifts we have received and what opportunities present themselves to us to use these gifts. Sometimes, the best evangelizers are those who strive to live those two great commandments of Christ, to love God with all of our heart and soul; and to love others as ourselves. One act of charity can be like a stone dropped into a pond; the ripples will go out and spread through our families, our neighborhoods, our city, the world.
“For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.” Let us not be timid, let us not be quiet, but boldly go out, in whatever way the Spirit calls us, and proclaim the Good News, that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.