‘And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”’ — John 2:4-5

Each of the liturgical years that the Church presents to us has its own unique Gospel, one from which we primarily read throughout the Sundays of the Church’s year. This year, we are reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke and, all of the sudden, just as we are getting settled into this new liturgical year 2019, we are suddenly having a Gospel taken from the evangelist St. John given to us at Sunday Mass!

Recall just how different the style, structure, and background of St. John’s Gospel is compared to that of St. Luke’s. The Gospel according to St. Luke is described, along with that of St. Matthew and St. Mark, as a synoptic Gospel. The word “synoptic” derives from the Greek and it means to “view together.” At the essence, this means that Matthew, Mark, and Luke, although they, of course, have differences in details, they more or less tell the same story in more or less the same fashion. John’s Gospel is nothing like the synoptics! It is written much later than the synoptic gospels (most scholars believe around 100 A.D., compared to around 70-80 A.D. for the synoptics.) John has a different structure altogether than the synoptics; for instance, you will not find an infancy narrative in John (for that matter, you won’t find one in Mark, either, but bear with me!) and the first time we encounter the Lord Jesus in John’s Gospel, he’s a grown man, being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan. 

In today’s Gospel passage, we are privileged to be witnesses of the first miracle of the Lord Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana. It’s pretty impressive, to say the least. The Lord, at the urging of his Blessed Mother, turns water into wine for the benefit of a newly married couple. In doing so, we learn many valuable lessons, each of which could be a homily unto itself, namely the raising of marriage from a natural bond to that of a sacrament by the sanctifying presence of Christ and the beautiful words of Our Lady, Mary, to the stewards at the wedding (and thus, to us also): “Do whatever he tells you,” signifying the complete connection between prayer through the intercession of the Blessed Mother and prayer to the Lord Jesus. I’m sure you have heard homilies on either of these two interpretations of this second chapter of John’s Gospel in the past. I’m not going to focus on these aspects, although they certainly are worthy ones indeed. Not to mention the explanation of the phrase “My hour has not yet come,” which Jesus says in this Gospel. Again, if I covered all those themes, this article would be the size of the entire newspaper.

I would like to focus in on what these miracles of Jesus are called in John’s Gospel — “signs.” Did you notice that in the last line of the Gospel today?

“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.” These miracles are called signs in John’s Gospel and that’s not just a casual thing — these actions of Jesus, beginning with the changing of water to wine, then on to the various healings, the multiplication of the loaves at the Bread of Life discourse (John 6) and all culminating with the raising of Lazarus, three days long dead from the grave, all of them grow greater and greater. Each of these actions of Jesus are signs pointing to a greater reality. And all of them cause these disciples and the crowds observing Jesus to make a choice — either leave this man behind because he is not who he says he is or radically change their lives, leave all behind, and follow him. The signs all point to one thing — the glory of Jesus. He is the Messiah!

How many times in our lives do we see signs revealing the identity of Jesus to us? If we have the eyes to not merely see, but to truly perceive, no doubt hundreds of times a day. Jesus is present and revealing himself to us in the kindnesses we receive, in the graces given to us even when we are unaware of them, and even in the struggles we encounter. Jesus gives us signs, again and again. Maybe they’re not as impressive as the water turning into wine, but, if we have the right mindset, we can see that all of them point to one thing — ¬≠Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives!