Jesus: The Fullest Joy of Humankind

Weekly Missionary Reflection
Ordinary Sunday, 16 January 2022

Isa. 62:1-5; Ps. 96:1-2a,2b-3,7-8a,9-10ac; 1Cor. 12:4-11; John 2:1-11

This could be one of the favorite stories for brides; a kind of “must-read” reading in the Wedding Mass. This story might be loved by wine lovers and connoisseurs. Their hobby and favorite are “justified” by the Scripture. Of course, this is just a joke! One thing for sure, this story underlines a change: from shortage (v. 3) to abundance, from purifying water to the wine of joy. Jesus is the Agent of change. So, the first message of this story is Christology: to introduce the role and identity of Jesus. That’s why Evangelist John prefers to use the word “sign”  instead of miracle. Sign always refers to something or someone. The sign itself is not the core, it just plays the role to introduce the Performer. The event in Cana is a means of introducing Jesus as God’s messenger, as the one coming from God. The glory of God given to Him (John 1:14) is clear now. What’s the purpose? In order for His disciples to believe in Him (v. 11).

Second, the change from water into wine becomes the sign to introduce the role of Jesus in the history of salvation. Six water jars full of water for purification: a must-rite for the Jewish to purify themselves from the unclean. So this purifying water is the symbol of the Jewish religious order. Jesus came to end this old order of salvation and changed it with a new one (wine). The old order of salvation, supported by any rites and sacrifice, had “no more wine”, it lost its impact and did not bring full freedom and joy anymore. Therefore there were only 6 water jars, not 7 (the perfect number). On the other hand, Jesus started the new order of salvation, that brought complete joy to humans. This is just His first sign of the series of 7 signs in the Gospel of John! Jesus gave the “best wine” (v. 10): high quality of joy, not an ordinary one. He presented eternal happiness, not an instant one. He even transformed 600 liters of water into the very best wine! The joy that Jesus presented is truly abundant. What the Prophets expected to happen at the end time (cf. Prov. 9:13 etc; Hos. 14:8, Jer. 31:12), is presented by Jesus now. The “time” of His glory (v. 4) will be fulfilled on the cross, but that glory is already begun now and here.

Third, although Jesus is the center of this story,  the help of His mother is also real! Without the intention to interfere with Her Son’s plan, she conveyed the human need to Him: “they have no wine” (v. 3). Having no wine will embarrass the host and gloom the party atmosphere. Thank to this thoughtful and alert mother. She understands very well whom she should tell about our needs. She is a mother who trusts her Son. She is our role model in faith. Not only that! She also directed the servants to obey her Son: “Do whatever He tells you!” (v. 5). For Mary, it is enough if we just listen and do her Son’s commandment. The Lord will absolutely change and make a miracle if we trust Him like His mother and obey His words like the servants (cf. v. 7-8).

(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, in particular I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:

For Universal Churches: True fraternity
We pray for those suffering from religious bullying and discrimination, may their right and dignity be honored for we are truly all brothers and sisters as human beings. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention: Warding off the hoax
In the midst of unclear information, gossip and hoax which easily attract our emotion, may we be able to respond to it with peaceful heart and common sense. We pray…

Amen

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