Holy Land Pilgrimage

God’s Adundance to Excess

February 8, 2018

It was my turn to serve when our group celebrated Mass at the church built to commemorate Jesus’ fist sign, the transformation of the water in into wine at the wedding at Cana in Galilee. The Gospel of John chapter 2 recounts that Jesus, Mary, and the disciples had all been invited to a wedding in Cana, and during the festivities the wine ran out. The servants go to Mary who tells Jesus. Jesus seems to ignore the request, but Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus tells them. Jesus tells the servants to draw water from jars usually used for ritual cleansing, and as they do, the water they expect was made wine. Good wine, and more than enough.

Fr. Dennis, our Pilgrimage director, pointed out in his homily that these people at the wedding were already full of wine, and Jesus transforms gallons and gallons more, to give to ”party-ers”, who would have probably appreciated the presence of more wine, even if they weren’t in the right mind to appreciate its quality. The sign at the wedding feast of Cana is not just a proof of Jesus’ powers, but proof of God’s abundance to excess. Jesus doesn’t just give wine, but life in abundance.

This reading from the Gospel for me was not just about receiving wine or life from Christ, but, getting closer to ordination, I identified with the servants, the ones who deliver the wine and do whatever Jesus tells them to do. It’s a compelling image for ordained ministry. Christ provides abundant grace, grace in excess, and as a future deacon (presumably!) my joy as a servant will be to deliver the wine of grace to those reveling in the marriage feast! As a servant, I would be very embarrassed to tell people that we’ve run out of wine, but luckily our God is a God of abundance, and how lucky are we who are called to serve for him.

By Tyler Raymond (Diocese of Dubuque)
Photos by Declan McNicholas (Diocese of Gary) and Peter Pedrasa (Diocese of Tucson)

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