2nd Sun Year c
The Commentaries Summarised
As a Church we are in a web of wisdom that comes to us both from tradition and contemporary writers. This section offers a summary of some commentaries on the Gospel. Also below is a list of the books and articles that have been consulted in compiling this Sunday's "Pray As You Can" and which could be used for further reading.
This Sunday's Commentary
In the carefully constructed work of the Gospel of John, this first sign clearly introduces the rest of Jesus’ signs yet, surprisingly, unlike the rest, there is no commentary unfolding its meaning. Rather this is to be found in its links with the rest of the Gospel and Jewish symbolism. Immediately preceding this, John has witnessed to Jesus and the first disciples have been called. Now in what seems almost a domestic incident, we see Jesus interacting with his mother. Nowhere is she called by her name. She will appear again, described in the same way, standing by when Jesus dies on the cross, the greatest of the signs and indeed their fulfilment. In spite of a rebuff from him, she shows herself the true disciple, faithful and obedient to his word and telling others to be the same. This miracle introduces a section in the early part of the Gospel that will conclude with the second sign, another miracle at Cana. In between, we are shown a series of people responding to Jesus: Nicodemus and John the Baptist from within Israel, the Samaritan woman from without. All believe in Jesus in differing ways to differing degrees. The section concludes with the belief of the royal official and the cure of his son. After this John introduces the first opposition to the revelation of Jesus.
With the mention of ‘the third day’ the reader of the Gospel is reminded on both the revelation of God on Mt Sinai (Ex 18:9) and the resurrection of Jesus on the third day. The stone water jars for ritual purification are symbols of Jewish religious practices which while good, are limited. Wine, in the Psalms, was regarded as a gift of God, intended to bring joy to the human heart. It was also a sign of the fullness of joy of the Messianic kingdom. With the use of this symbolism, John is alerting the reader to the profound transformation of faith that will come about in Jesus. What has merely cleansed the person of faith, is now about to be radically changed into joy, and the means by which a person is to enter into that new life is by a faith, that is expressed in obedience to the words of Jesus.