Today’s gospel recounts the famous story of the wedding feast at Cana. It’s the first manifestation of Christ’s divine power and I’m sure we all know the story well. Jesus was attending a wedding with his mother when the hosts ran out of wine. At Mary’s suggestion Jesus changed water into wine, so that their hosts could avoid the embarrassment of not being able to serve wine to their guests. In some ways it’s a strange miracle. Jesus was clearly reluctant to intervene, pointing out that his “hour had not yet come” and in the end appeared only to act because Mary encouraged him to do so. So what’s this all about?
The changing or water into wine is the most public but not the only miracle that Jesus performed that day. Nor is it the most impactful one. After all, eventually the wedding would end. The wine will have all been consumed or perhaps stored to be shared amongst many friends. Life moves on.
Except it doesn’t, not really and not in the same way, because of this second miracle, this second infusion of grace into the lives of those present. Did you notice it? It was right at the end of the reading. Listen again:
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
His disciples began to believe in him. Faith is the second miracle in this week’s Gospel. Faith in Jesus is the true gift, the true abundance, the true transformation that is more profound than water into wine. It was the faith of the apostles that grew and spread throughout the whole world.
What is faith? Is it simply a natural endowment which some people are fortunate enough to possess, like good vision or perfect hair? Or a hobby which certain people choose to adopt, like politics or gardening?
No. Faith is a gift which God our Father grants us in our souls. The Catechism tells us that “Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him… Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. ”
The supernatural gift of faith is one which enables us to see as God would have us see. First of all, it enables us to see the truth of his Son, the Word Incarnate. To recognize him as the Son of God is to recognize the one by whom God is revealed, and therefore to be drawn into the truth that comes from God.
Faith requires our free will, our willing response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, as Jesus did when he revealed his glory at Cana.
As with any gift faith can be lost or damaged. The Church is the repository of faith and offers Catholics many opportunities to protect and strengthen our faith.
Going to Adoration is an excellent way to strengthen your faith. In Adoration, you are truly before Jesus Christ, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Adoration deepens your experience receiving Holy Communion. It gives hope to those who suffer, and joy to those who mourn. The only possible response is awe and wonder at the greatness of our God.
Here at Blessed Sacrament our regular Adoration times when the Eucharist is exposed are every Wednesday from 3-7pm or Thursday from 9:00-11:00am in the chapel. Or come into the chapel anytime that the church is open to pray before Jesus in the tabernacle.
Another way to grow in faith is to join a Church ministry. As we heard a few minutes ago in the reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, the Spirit gives us all unique gifts. Sharing your gifts with our fellow parishioners in service of God will automatically, perhaps without your even knowing it, expand your faith in God and in his Church.
The bulletin regularly list many opportunities for groups and ministries you can join.
One of the most important ways that we can grow and preserve our faith is the sacrament of reconciliation. Sins weigh us down and enslave us, often giving our passions power over us. With the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can again feel the peace of heart and soul that comes from being in a good relationship with God.
Our regular times for the sacrament of reconciliation are Saturday at 3:00 at both parishes.
After the miracle at the wedding of Cana, the apostles began to receive the gift of faith. We received the gift of faith at our baptism, and the Church as the repository of faith supports and encourages each of us as we deepen our faith. The gifts of God should always be treasured, and never taken for granted.