On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
The setting for Sunday’s reading is a wedding feast in Cana, where Jesus performs his first public miracle. Shortly after Jesus and his disciples arrive, the hosts run out of wine. His mother, Mary (though unnamed), asks Jesus to intervene in the embarrassing social situation. Jesus instructs the stewards to fill large stone pots (typically used for ritual purification) with water and take them to the banquet master — who then brings the extraordinary fine wine to the groom’s attention. The miracle of water-into-wine calls to mind the Spirit of God moving over the waters of creation, as well as God’s ongoing gift of new life. Jesus’ miracle is the life-giving continuation of God’s work, in which the Spirit continues to move, revealing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Jesus demonstrates his power to invite us into an abundant life, a full life of love and grace — overflowing with blessings. The miracle symbolizes the transformation that a life of faith in Jesus can offer. Fill me up to the fullest, Holy One; transform my life by your abundant love. Amen.
—Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
In Rilke’s poem “Of the Marriage at Cana,” it dawns on Jesus’ mother, Mary, that her prodding him to perform a miracle set the ball rolling toward his crucifixion.
The theme in this issue of Spirituality of Conflict explores the inner spiritual journey, considering the dynamics of risk and transformation in conflict situations.
What may be interpreted as a rebuke of Mary may also be playful banter. The guests have no wine — the whole world has no wine (i.e., awaits the coming of the Messiah). Time to show yourself, my son!
A devotional song from Jamaica describes a kingly manifestation of Jesus and his mother in the “Marriage in Kaina.”
What is the Louvre’s biggest painting? And how did Napoleon’s weighty plunder get transported? (Hint: there’s a seam down the middle!)
Tonight, join Father Phil and Dr. Rob Gore, founder of Kings Against Violence (KAVI), for an online discussion about violence as an endemic public health issue, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, greatly impacting children and teenagers.
Join Discovery this Sunday for the second discussion on Philemon with Dr. Peter Ajer, Professor of New Testament at Church Divinity School of the Pacific. Beginning January 23, join Dr. Lisa Bowens, Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, for a two-week discussion about her book, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance and Transformation. (Please note: Through February, Discovery will meet online only.)
The Discovery subcommittee of the Congregational Council invites all parishioners and Sunday Discovery attendees to join planning meetings to help shape the Discovery adult education programs for next year (September 2022–June 2023). Come help us think about enriching program ideas and speakers on Thursdays, January 20 and 27, from 6:30–8pm. RSVP to ChristianFormation@trinitywallstreet.org.
Save the date: On February 3, Canon Stephanie Spellers and Dr. Catherine Meeks will be in conversation about the meaning of reconciliation and Canon Spellers’ book The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for Beloved Community.