The mystery of Epiphany – the manifestation of the Savior – continues to unfold for us this week in the traditional rhythm of the Roman liturgy. On Monday, we celebrated the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which is the second mystery of Epiphany (after the Adoration of the Magi), as Jesus’s divinity was revealed to the world by the solemn declaration of the Father’s voice: “This is my Beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased.”
Today the Lord’s divinity is manifest once again, as we have in our Gospel reading the third mystery of Epiphany: the miracle of the changing of water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana. By performing this first miracle, Jesus shows that He is not merely man, but that His human nature is the instrument of the Divinity to which it is united personally.
The beauty of the Cana Miracle captures the devotion of our hearts in many ways. Above all, we are touched by the intercession of the Mother of God, who tells her Son simply, “They have no wine.” After interceding thus, she turns to the servants of the wedding feast and says, “Do whatever He tells you.” We see here the twofold movement of the mission of the Mediatrix of All Graces, as she goes to Jesus with our needs and reveals to us the Wisdom from on high.
We learn also from the simplicity and humanity of the miracle. The servants present to the Lord something verdinary. In presenting water for transformation, they are giving us an example of how we are to approach the Lord. We present to Him for His divine action our everyday circumstances, our natural faculties, our ordinary situations. We present this water of our humanity to Him with the faith of the servants, who, instructed by the Blessed Virgin Mary, were ready to obey Jesus in whatever He commanded.y or
Jesus then takes the ordinary plain water that they present and, by the sovereign power of His divine nature, transforms it into the finest wine. Indeed, the head waiter, an expert in these matters, is so impressed by the wine that he comments to the bride and groom how unusual it is that they have saved the best wine for last. Here we see the fruit of the Wisdom of the Blessed Mother’s advice that we do whatever He tells us to do. Having entrusted to Jesus the ordinariness of the jugs of water, the servants receive the best wine ever produced in all of history.
This is the logic of our own spiritual life and moral life, as well. We entrust ourselves to the grace of Christ and He takes our humanity and invests it with the ability to live His divinity. Our human intellects then become the subjects of the science of God by faith. Our wills are inflamed with divine fruition by hope and divine love through charity. Our faculties are perfected and elevated by sharing in the supernatural and infused cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. In this process of entrustment to divine grace, the water of our humanity is transformed into the fine wine of Jesus’s divinity.
This is the fullness of the Epiphany mystery, both in the Baptism and in the Wedding Miracle. The Fathers teach us that “God became man so that man might become God.” We are called to participate in His divine nature Who humbled Himself to share our human nature. This is the manifestation of Christmas.
Fr. Joseph Previtali