Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

John 2:1-12

 “They have no wine”

The message of salvation, of forgiveness and healing, of love, unity and peace, proclaimed by Jesus, burst in on a world that was weary. Generations of Jews had been trampled on by foreign invaders and currently their land was occupied again, this time by Roman soldiers. Over the centuries their religious laws had multiplied, eventually blotting out all sign of the liberating and life-giving power of God. Their religion had declined into legalistic observances and rituals. The people were dispirited and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. In more ways than one “they had run out of wine”. Their lives were empty, without direction; their rituals were sterile, without purpose.

“They have no wine”. One of those rituals was that of cleansing. Six large stone jars for the ritual of cleansing were close at hand. Jesus had these jars refilled with water, right up to the brim, and then changed that water into wine. He did not reject or abandon what had become meaningless; he transformed it. In place of the cold ritual water he provided an abundance of the very best wine. This was the first of his ‘signs’, a symbol of the completely new beginning he offers to the world through his death and resurrection, and the outpouring of his Spirit.

“They have no wine”. Something similar is experienced by many people today. The spark has gone out of their lives; boredom, routine, emptiness, spiritual dryness, stress and despair have set in. They have run out of wine. And today’s gospel story speaks to them and to us all – if only you will allow him, invite him as he was invited to the wedding at Cana, Jesus will enter into the reality of your life. He brings still the message of salvation, of forgiveness and healing, of love, unity and peace. He can and will transform the dullness and darkness and emptiness of our lives with the light and fullness of his presence.