GOD RESTORES ALL BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS IN HIMSELF
SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ ISAIAH 62:1-5; 1 COR 12:4-11; JOHN 2:1-11 ]
Many things are necessary for life in this world. We need food, accommodation and work to give us fulfillment. But even if we have all these things, without love, life has no meaning.
Yet, the sad reality is that this history of ours is a history of broken relationships. We have all experienced betrayal, estrangement and disappointments in relationships. As the gospel says, “They have no more wine!” Wine is a symbol of joy, celebration and of the spirit. When we are no longer excited in our relationships, when such relationships become a mere obligation, there is no longer any joy or reason to celebrate. When that happens, life loses its meaning. When there is no longer any joy, it means too the absence of God and the Holy Spirit.
The Good News is that God is going to restore all our broken relationships. How is this restoration of all relationships to be brought about? The key is to restore our relationship with God.
Human love must be founded on God’s prior love for us, without which we will not have the capacity or the knowledge to love. If we find our life meaningless and lacking direction, it is because we are not in union with God and therefore not in union with our fellowmen. For this reason, God came to give us the unconditional love we need, and to teach us the proper way to love.
So how does God reveal to us His love? That the first miracle of Jesus took place at a wedding is not just an accidental event. Rather, Jesus chose this nuptial event to express the heart of God, which is love, since every wedding is a celebration of love.
The wedding at Cana was not just any wedding between two human beings but in actual fact it was the wedding envisaged by God with humanity. Even though the people did not recognize who Jesus was, He was the bridegroom of the New People of God. When Jesus told Mary that His hour had not yet come, it was to remind Mary that the full revelation of His divinity and the accomplishment of redemption could only take place at the end of His life, at His passion and death on the cross. For only at this death, will the world be transformed by God’s love.
The changing of water into wine symbolizes that purification will no longer be through the water in the jars but by the blood of Christ, which will be the purifier that washes away the sin of the world. The new wine that Jesus is giving us is His Spirit at His resurrection. This Spirit is the same love of God in Jesus that is now poured out for us all. This love that is poured into our hearts will empower us to love like Him in every way.
What must we do if we want to find happiness and fulfillment in life, especially in our relationships? If we invite Jesus into our lives, He will transform and change us into people of joy and love.
We must come to Jesus our bridegroom if we want to see changes in our lives. This miracle of the changing of water into wine clearly brings out the message that if man were to change hatred to love, death to life, darkness to light, then he must embrace Jesus as the Agent of change in our lives. He can change us into people of love and joy, regardless whatever situation we are in. We might be broken; disillusioned or feeling useless, but just as Jesus changed plain water into wine, He too can change our lifeless life into one of joy and love. Only His love can fill the emptiness in our lives.
Unfortunately, many of us are like the people in the wedding who did not recognize Jesus as the bridegroom of the Church. Many, although married in Church, did not really marry Christ in their hearts. The wedding was more a ritual than a real participation in the sacrifice of Christ, which is the offering of oneself as a living sacrifice to each other and to God in Christ. This is equally true in other forms of human relationships. Many do not bring Christ into their relationships. As a result, such relationships turn sour because love is lacking.
What we need to do is to give Him whatever we have. Just as Jesus used the water that was available to change into wine, we must be ready to give our entire being to the Lord, all our past, all our brokenness and sinfulness to Him. We must put at His disposal all our resources, money, wealth, talents and time, allowing Him to dictate how these should be used. Only then can He transform us. Christ who loves us will not work without our cooperation. This is the message of the miracle of the wine. When we ‘do whatever He tells you”, not only will the abundance of wine begin to flow in our lives, as with Jesus’ miracle at the Wedding in Cana, but it will be the best wine as well.
Let us make Mary’s life ours in our love for God and for others. Let our love be one of total trust in God so that we can trust our fellow brothers and sisters. Without faith, we cannot deepen our love for God or for our neighbours. With trust, we will experience the goodness and the love of God and that will help us to open ourselves to others. We must take the courage to trust our spouse and our loved ones. We too, must live up to the trust that others have given to us. Only then can we build authentic and trusting relationships.
Love too must be creative and free. It is not enough to love God or love someone, but we must be free in love, allowing the person to respond to us according to his or her capacity. Otherwise, we will be disappointed by their failures and shortcomings. We must love them because we want to love them and not because we want them to love us. Unless we love in freedom, we will manipulate others and make use of them for our own needs. Like Mary, let us allow the Lord to work in us according to His will
Let us choose to be like Mary and Jesus, to be the ones who will bring the wine of joy, love and unity to whoever we meet today. We are called to be missionary like Jesus, who is revealed today as the Messiah, the Saviour of the World. Let us make the effort to bring the Spirit of Christ to the world. Let us, even in trials and sufferings, be seen to be people of hope and joy. Yes, let us proclaim His wonderful love and marvellous deeds for us as the responsorial psalm invites us.
Written by The Most Rev William Goh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved
Best Practices for Using the Daily Scripture Reflections
- Encounter God through the spirit of prayer and the scripture by reflecting and praying the Word of God daily. The purpose is to bring you to prayer and to a deeper union with the Lord on the level of the heart.
- Daily reflections when archived will lead many to accumulate all the reflections of the week and pray in one sitting. This will compromise your capacity to enter deeply into the Word of God, as the tendency is to read for knowledge rather than a prayerful reading of the Word for the purpose of developing a personal and affective relationship with the Lord.
- It is more important to pray deeply, not read widely. The current reflections of the day would be more than sufficient for anyone who wants to pray deeply and be led into an intimacy with the Lord.
Note: You may share this reflection with someone. However, please note that reflections are not archived online, nor will they be available via email request.