Sunday, January 20, 2013

Water Into Wine - the Old Covenant Flows Into the New

Today's Gospel recounted Jesus' first miracle, performed at a wedding feast in Cana (Jn.2:1-12).  At His Mother's request, Jesus came to the bride and groom's aid by turning water into wine, miraculously replenishing their supply.

The wedding feast of Cana has many elements on which we can meditate.  Here I offer a simple thought that came to me at Mass - Cana is yet another example of how the New Covenant flows out of the Old.

The Law of Moses contained prescriptions for ceremonial washings (Num.19:11-12).  Listen to how John recounts Jesus' miracle:

"Now six stone water jars were standing there, 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 steward of the feast.' So they drew some out and took it." (Jn.2:6-8).

Here the Lord used water prescribed by the Old Covenant to perform the first sign of the New.  And this sign, the transformation of water into wine, anticipates the Great Sacrament of the New Covenant, the Eucharist, where Jesus transforms the wine into His Blood! (Mt. 26:27-28)

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