22 Jan 2022
The Epistle. Romans xii. 16.
Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
The Gospel. St. John ii. 1.
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: and both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
Today, as Archbishop Hartley encouraged us to do, let us remember the blessed memory of Patriarch Vincent Waterman, who strongly supported the work of the Anglican Church Worldwide.
Today's Gospel lesson is the very well-known story of Jesus at the wedding feast at Cana, in Galilee. It is Jesus' first miracle, "the beginning of signs," as St. John says. His miracles are always signs—they mean more than just the obvious. In this case, the wedding feast is symbolic of the marriage between God and the soul and therefore between Christ and His Church of which we are a part. At that wedding feast so long ago, Jesus changed water into wine. By this we recall the miracle of Holy Communion. This is the powerful sign of the Lord’s ability to give us new life, to transform us into the image God desires for us.
In the Epistle, St. Paul reminds us to not be overcome by the evil of this world. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” It is too easy to follow the way of this world which is always enticing us to resentment and division. This is not our way. We cast off the anger and hatred and look to the Lord for balance and mercy. Paul also reminds us that God has been generous with gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are all blessed with them in a great variety of ways. We need to assure children of this great gifts that they each have. Remember how Archbishop Hartley encouraged the children to aspire and dream great dreams—for the love of God and to help our neighbors everywhere. In these days, we also need to think of the aged, infirm, and imprisoned, who are often left without comfort or love to complete their lives in isolation.
God governs all things in heaven and earth; it is He who makes all things new. He it is who changes water into wine, the good wine of His love and power and strength and our renewal. Mary said, "Whatever he saith unto you, do it." That must be our motto as well—“Whatever He saith unto you, do it.” Are we listening for His voice?
Source: "The good wine of his grace"
by Dr. Robert Crouse
Bishop Ed Tompkins