Think of these first weeks after Christmas
as a season of "epiphanies." The liturgy is showing
us who Jesus is and what He has revealed about our relationship
with God. Last week and the week before, the imagery was royal
and filial-Jesus is the newborn king of the Jews who makes
us co-heirs of Israel's promise, beloved children of God.
Last week in the liturgy we went to a baptism.
This week we're at a wedding. We're being shown another dimension
of our relationship with God. If we're sons and daughters
of God, it's because we've married into the family.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible begins and ends with
a wedding-Adam and Eve's in the garden and the marriage supper
of the Lamb (compare Genesis 2:23-24 and Revelation 19:9;
Throughout the Bible, marriage is the symbol of the covenant
relationship God desires with His chosen people. He is the
groom, humanity His beloved and sought-after bride. We see
this reflected beautifully in today's First Reading. When
Israel breaks the covenant, she is compared to an unfaithful
spouse (see Jeremiah 2:20-36; 3:1-13). But God promises to
take her back, to "espouse" her to Him forever in
an everlasting covenant (see Hosea 2:18-22).
That's why in today's Gospel Jesus performs His first public
"sign" at a wedding feast.
Jesus is the divine bridegroom (see John 3:29), calling us
to His royal wedding feast (see Matthew 22:1-14). By His New
Covenant, He will become "one flesh" with all humanity
in the Church (see Ephesians 5:21-33). By our baptism, each
of us has been betrothed to Christ as a bride to a husband
(see 2 Corinthians 11:2).
The new wine that Jesus pours out at today's feast is the
gift of the Holy Spirit given to His bride and body, as today's
Epistle says. This is the "salvation" announced
to the "families of nations" in today's Psalm.