The Transforming Presence of Christ

Homily – Sunday, the 29th January 2023

Reading: John 2:1-11

Have you run out of something in your lives?

The Joy of Living, The Energy level we enjoyed, the Spiritual health we cherished, the Love that filled our hearts. As we ask that question let us look at what happened to a wedding that ran out of wine.


There was an ant that fell into the water and since it went to no swimming class was almost drowning and no lifeguard spotted her. A little robin up the see saw the struggling ant and came with a twig in its mouth and put it to the ant to hold on to and the ant reached the shore safe.

She told the robin- O you came at the right time and saved my life.

A few days later the ant spotted a hunter aiming at the same robin. Losing no time it rushed to the archers feet and lo and the behold the ant sting made the arrow lose its target and the robin was saved

She told the ant- O you came at the right time and saved my life.

God is never too late and comes to us in different ways at moments that we need God’s intervention the most

The story of the Wedding at Cana is also the story of someone coming at the right time- to save and to transform- to fill our emptiness and to transform our embarrassments.

The Third Day

We call it often the Wedding at Cana or the Miracle on the third day

The wedding at Cana is a very familiar story to all of us. And John begins the story- One the third day there was a wedding at Cana

Traditionally Jews considered the third day, Tuesday as a good day for weddings. The third day as we know in the creation narrative where the phase God saw it was good is mentioned twice. Even today if we walk through the Holy land on a Tuesday we would see festivities of weddings happening around.

This could be the third day after Jesus began his public ministry being pointed and declared- Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Chronological time statement.

We have always associated the third day- to resurrection. And on the third day he rose again.

We read in Luke 2: 46 about Jesus twelve year old boy Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple.

The gospel search for the third day is very interesting one.

John here is talking about Jesus revealing his glory and we cannot but be reminded of Exodus 19:15-16 where the glory of God is revealed to the people. Moses tells them- be ready for the third day and we read Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thundering and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. And in verse 20 we read, Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. Revelation of the glory of God and the third day are interestingly connected.

Another pertinent text is Hosea 6: 1 and 2. The prophet is calling- Come let us return to the Lord. We are torn- God will heal. We are injured- God will bind our wounds. On the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence.

In our credal statement we affirm He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hades. On the third day He rose again from the dead, ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Yes the third day in itself can be a very interesting study. But let us closely look at some other interesting elements in this narrative.

A Mother and Her Trust in her son.

Jesus did not do any miracles till then. So he was just another ordinary son of a good mother. Mary was already in the home at Cana and since Jesus and his disciples were invited they came along. As soon as Mary saw Jesus, she went up to him and said- they have no wine.

Wine was an important part of their celebration. All the guests were there and if they had wine it would be really embarrassing- a painful and potentially shameful moment of emptiness and sorrow.

Mary knew that her upbringing was such that her son would not brush aside her bringing to his attention of the crisis

Jesus did say- Women there is no much difference between you and me- My hour has not yet come.

Mary boldly told the people around- if he tells you something- Just Do It.

Here is a one line intercession of a mother- They have no wine

And a One Line Sermon or Instruction- If he says something Just Do It

How many parents today have this confidence in their children that they can bring the needs of others confidently to them confident they would do something about it?

That I would say is parenting.

As my father celebrated 80 this week I was asked to send a greeting and thanking God for my parents I reflected on our home

  • It was a home of prayer- We had family prayer morning and evening, everyday
  • It was a home of contentment- We distinguished between needs and desires and we were taught to keep life simple
  • It was a home of giving- Whenever you get something new give something. If you get more than one- consider giving the new itself
  • It was a home sensitive to the need of the neighbour- seeing people around us each having the image of God.
  • It was a home of joy of togetherness. Mealtimes for us sometimes lasted hours despite the hectic busy lives they had. They gave time for the children. Even today I get a call every day from my parents, yes every day.

Our birthdays were always celebrated in Orphanages, each time reminding us, true religion is taking care of your neighbour.

Mary knew that if she told her son that there is a need, her son, despite of whatever he says would do something about it

And Jesus did exactly that.

The Etiquettes of the Workers/The Lessons from the workers

I have particularly noted three important aspects of the life of the workers there. 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. No questions asked they Just Did It and they filled it to the Brim.

My Sunday School teacher used to tell me a story regarding the Handful of Rice. As the mother and son were returning home there was a poor woman asking if she could have a handful of rice. The naughty son took one grain of rice and gave the women with a sneer and the mother did not say anything. As they reached home and looked at their rice they saw one golden grain. The mother just looked at the son and said- we should have given more.

Filled to the Brim is to tell us- Leave no effort incomplete. Do the best you can do and that would add to the blessing.

It is an attitude. Five People with Faith Filled to the Brim- that’s all you need to make a Church a Miracle Working place. Miracles continue to change lives.

The second aspect I like about them is this. Jesus said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it.

Remember it is the jar for cleansing and it is they who filled it with water and now Jesus says Take it to the Chief Steward. They do that without asking questions.

Logic sometimes does not work. We just have to obey. Insisting that faith has to be fitting in to the box of logic does not always happen. Faith sometimes manifests itself ‘out of the box’

There is a third aspect that I like- When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, he did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew). The workers knew where the wine came from. They could have whispered, ‘it is from the jar for cleansing’. But they decided to be silent about it.

Any my lesson from the text is this- Learn when to be silent.

The more we know, the more we tend to talk. We need to learn the spirituality of silence better.

The Transformation of the Home

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.’

When 180 gallons of wine is abundant but there is a very important message here- The Best Comes Sometimes Later

Jesus transformed the sorrow of the home into joy

Jesus transformed the emptiness of the home into abundant fullness

Jesus transformed the shame of the home into choicest blessing

Jesus transformed the embarrassment of the home into excellence

Well that is key

Putting your trust in Jesus who can transform our homes and our lives

When we go through situations of shame what do we do

In her work Lajja (Shame) Taslima Nasrin quotes “Jonathan Swift: ‘We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”

We need to rediscover the tremendous potential and possibility of faith in God and in humanity. She goes on to say- True humanity is the other name of religion and reaches out to the people in need.

The wedding at Cana keeps on reminding people

Christ can Make a Difference in your lives.

Invite him, Inform Him and Leave the rest to him.

Miracles continue to happen

Whatever we have run out of, Jesus is able to fill the same

Whatever be the shame we struggle Jesus can transform the same

Only Believe

Only Invite

That is why we began this service singing

You are here, Moving in our midst
I worship you, I worship you
You are here, Working in this place
I worship you, I worship you (repeat whole)

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God

That is who you are

The Sign for the Disciples

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

What are signs?, Paulo Coelo said “When we’re interested in something, everything around us appears to refer to it (the mystics call these phenomena ‘signs’, the sceptics ‘coincidence’, and psychologists ‘concentrated focus’, although I’ve yet to find out what term historians would use).”
In the world of Artificial Intelligence- if you give a sign that you are interested in something suddenly all the ads that come to you would have some reference to that.

The new generations are not talking today- the communicate with texts, posts, eyes, body languages, emojis and signs. They understand the word signs better than us

The Miracle at Cana was a sign, or rather a beginning of a series of signs that pointed clearly at the Kingdom that was coming- it was a foretaste of the Great Banquet that was to come.

The Miracle at Cana was also a revelation of the glory of God. This God encounter keeps happening in and around us. In Abrahams life the three men who came as visitors or three day journey for the sacrifice of Issac were moments of experiencing the glory of God. For the disciples it was this third day experience that revealed to them to the glory of God first.

And the disciples believed.

Signs help us see the glory of God and to believe in Jesus.

Do we need a sign today

Do we need Jesus filling our emptiness today, We pray together

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
there’s no one like you
None like you
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s No one like you
None like you

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

Vinod Victor

29th January 2023

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