The first signs

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C

Today’s Gospel, like the previous two Sundays, continues to throw light on the identity of Jesus. Together with the episode of the wise men and their gifts to Jesus, the baptism of Jesus and the voice of the Father, and today’s miracle, reveal Jesus to us. The wedding in Cana, in John’s Gospel, is described as “the beginning of his signs” in which the glory of Jesus is revealed. Jesus does not perform these signs or miracles for pride popularity. Instead, as John later describes in his Gospel, Jesus does so, so that “you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20, 31) In fact, “his disciples began to believe in him.” 

St John uses the word sign rather than miracle. Through these signs he wants to reveal Jesus more and more and he also throws light on why Jesus became man. Jesus transformed water, which the Jews used for purification, into the best wine. Jesus chose to change the water in these purification jars. He could have asked the smaller wine jars to be filled with water and change this into wine. Yet, Jesus chose to give more wine than needed. This is a symbol of God’s love and mercy, which is given in abundance to his people.  

This first miracle shows us that God meets us in the ordinary daily life to give us his abundant grace, in this case during a wedding. In this Gospel, faith in Jesus is paramount. Mary shows faith in Jesus when she asks him to intervene and later when she instructs the servers and says to them: “do whatever he tells you,” although Jesus had just told her that his “hour has not yet come.” Even the servers trusted Jesus. They did not question him when he asked them to fill the jars with water. They showed great faith, when they obeyed him and without tasting the water, they went to offer it to the headwaiter. This shows us the importance of faith. When we trust God, great things happen. It does not mean that God gives us all that we ask for. It means however, that when we pray, we believe that God is listening and God will answer, not necessarily in a visible way or in an understandable way. Faith helps us to believe that God is present. Just as Jesus changed much more water into wine than was needed, God loves us much more than we deserve.

A reading from the Gospel of John (Jn 2, 1-11) 

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.

When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 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.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it.  And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from — although the servers who had drawn the water knew —, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

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.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. The stone jars overflowing with wine reflect God’s love. If you had to imagine the jar as your life, up to where would you mark on the jar to show the amount of God’s presence in your life? How much do you feel yourself full with the grace of God? 
  4. The Virgin Mary interceded for the newlyweds. Do you turn to Mary and entrust her with your prayers, so that she intercedes for you?
  5. Pray for your marriage and for your family, so that just as Jesus was present at the wedding at Cana, he is also present in your family.
  6. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St John (2, 1-11)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    iv. A jug with water and a wedding photograph
    v. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  7. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  8. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  9. Be creative 😊 

Have you ever been asked to be flower girls or pageboys? Do you know that even Jesus went to weddings with his friends? Let us hear what happened when Jesus went to a wedding in Cana.

  • Jesus can do great and awesome things
  • Like Mary, we are to take care of others
  • Printout of the activity
  • Pencil
  • Colours

Cana is a village near Nazareth, where Jesus and Mary lived. They were invited to a friend’s or relative’s wedding. Jesus was there with his friends and Mary went to speak to him; she was worried. Something terrible had happened! The wine had finished. Had the guests noticed the unlucky incident, the newlyweds would have been very embarrassed since the wedding was far from over! The Virgin Mary asked Jesus to help them. What could Jesus do?

Mary had faith in Jesus, she trusted that he would help them and so she went to the servers and instructed them to do whatever Jesus asked.

Jesus performed a miracle and transformed water into wine. Now a miracle is not magic! Only God can do miracles. A miracle is when something which is impossible, happens. One can explain magic tricks, but miracles cannot be explained or understood.

Jesus did not perform this miracle so that the people applaud him! He wanted his friends to believe that he was the Son of God, that he wanted to save them. He would like us to do the same. Jesus wants us to believe in him and to trust him. When we do what Jesus wants, great things happen. We need to behave like the servers. Did you hear what they did?

The servers had faith in Jesus, and they obeyed. What do you think, would have happened had they not obeyed?

Since the servers obeyed Jesus, the guests did not even notice that the wine had finished. No one made fun of the newlyweds because they did not have enough wine. This is also what happens to us. Jesus can only do and give what is good. Therefore, when we obey Jesus, we can rest assured that something good will happen!

This miracle occurred because the Virgin Mary wanted to help the newlyweds. When she noticed that the wine had finished, she asked Jesus to help. This is what she also does with us. We can ask her to help us or to help someone else. For example, we can pray to her, so that she asks Jesus to heal our friend who is sick. In today’s activity, you have an outline of a jar. In it, draw something or someone, which/whom you would like to pray for.

When you are ready, listen to, The miracles of Jesus.

Sign of the cross.

Look at the picture that you have drawn and pray about it (parents, help the children to say a prayer about what they have drawn)

Holy Mother, I know that you love me. I know that you hear my prayer, and you will tell Jesus about it.

I would like to pray … (mention what you have drawn).
Pray the Hail Mary.

Jesus enjoyed going to parties with his friends. Today’s Gospel recounts to us what Jesus did when he went to a wedding in Cana

  • We should always do joyfully what Jesus asks
  • 2 printouts of today’s activity
  • Pencil 

Today we heard how Jesus, together with Mary and his friends, went to a wedding in Cana. During the wedding, the Virgin Mary, noticed that the wine had finished. She asks Jesus to help, because she did not wish the newlyweds to be made fun of by their guests. Jesus listened to his mother and asked the servers to fill the jars with water. The water was transformed into wine by Jesus and the wedding continued. Only the servers, the Virgin Mary, Jesus and his friends, knew that the wine had finished. Jesus performed this miracle so that the disciples could come to believe in him and to be praised. The miracles Jesus did, show us how great God is and they help us to believe in him. 

From this Gospel, we learn that God can change things. An event which could have ended with a lot of heartache for the newlyweds, was changed into a happy occasion. God can also change our lives.  If we want, we can allow him change what is bad in us, for example a tendency to lie, or to say rude words. God can only change us if it is our will and we have faith in him. We need to do what the Virgin Mary asked of the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” When we obey Jesus, extraordinary things happen. When Jesus changed the water into wine, not only there was much more than what was needed, but it was also the best wine, it was better than what the newlyweds had bought. When we trust Jesus, he can do marvellous things, both in us and through us. He can do things which we never believed could happen!

For today’s activity make 2 printouts, so that you will have 6 jars. In each jar, write a prayer. It could be a prayer for yourselves, for example, asking Jesus for help, to stop doing what is wrong, like lying. Or else like the Virgin Mary, you may pray for someone who needs Jesus’ help. When you are ready, put these prayers on your prayer table, or near your bed, so that during the coming days you can pray them to Jesus, again.
Afterwards, listen to, Water to wine.

Sign of the cross.

Say one or more of the prayers that you have prepared. 

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.