by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
This incident in the life of Jesus is one that is very familiar to us. We easily remember this event — such an extraordinary happening at the very beginning of the public life of Jesus. As we listen to it, we could listen in kind of a superficial way and be aware, this would be true. Be aware that this was an example of how Jesus blessed the institution of marriage indicating it’s something sacred, something very beautiful and important in life.
Also, it could show us clearly how Jesus is fully human. He would go to a party, a wedding feast, and celebrate with the people. Those two things are certainly true, but they’re not really what this Gospel is about. They’re at one level, kind of superficial. What this really is, as John says at the end of the passage, “This was the first of the signs.” John, in his Gospel (and this is true throughout the Gospel) is not so much telling us a history of Jesus or giving us a biography of Jesus. He uses the events of Jesus to teach us about who Jesus is.
In this Gospel there are seven of what we call “signs,” each one a kind of revelation — Jesus is the Son of God. At the very end of the passage John tells us in this way, “Jesus made his glory known,” who he is. If you’re familiar with the Gospel of John, you might remember at the very beginning in what we call the “prologue” to John’s Gospel (we heard it on Christmas Day, if you came to the Mass on that day), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of God’s only Son, the fullness of truth and loving kindness.”
“We have seen his glory,” that’s what John says in the prologue of his Gospel. Now in the Gospel, he begins to show us that through these signs, the same revelation of the glory that the Word of God who is God became flesh, entered into our world, began to transform this world through his teachings, through his love, and calls us to join in that...