Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
January 16, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

First Reading  Is 62:1-5

For Zion's sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.

No more shall people call you "Forsaken, "
or your land "Desolate, "
but you shall be called "My Delight, "
and your land "Espoused."
For the LORD delights in you
and makes your land his spouse.

As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2,2-3,7-8,9-10

R/. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.

Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
 among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
 give to the LORD the glory due his name!

Worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth;
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He governs the peoples with equity.

Second Reading 1 Cor 12:4-11 2

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.

To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.

But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Alleluia Cf. 2 Thess 2:14


Gospel 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 the 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.

Reflection Questions

How does your God rejoice in you?

What are the manifestation of the Spirit given to you, and for what benefit?

How are you challenged by Mary’s instruction, “Do whatever he tells you?”

Catena Nova

The Son of God went to a wedding. He went so that his presence would sanctify the institution of marriage which He had founded. It was a wedding done according to the “old order” of things but he went to begin a New Order. He had come into the world in order to take as a bride the Church, drawn into one from all nations. He didn’t go to the wedding to enjoy the banquet or to drink wine but he went to show by the miracle of transforming water into wine what being one with him means. He no doubt enjoyed the wedding supper and the wine but he came to give a New Wine because the old wine was giving out. So it was that, when the feast was well underway, the most blessed Mary came and said to him, “They have no wine”. Jesus answered as though he were displeased. “Ma’m”, he said, “how is that my concern, or yours?” However, the displeasure was only that his mother was thinking of earthly things and he was thinking of transformative grace. So, he replied: “My hour has not yet come.” He foresaw the glorious hour of his passion and then his resurrection, from which was to spring the grace of our redemption—the redemption of all. Why worry about ordinary wine when he was soon to give all the opportunity to drink the New Wine that would bring everlasting life and eternal redemption? Holy Mary, however, since she was truly Mother of God, in her spirit realized what her son and Lord was thinking and knew he could give us both that spiritual wine and ordinary wine. She advised the servants, as she advises us, to do whatever Jesus might command. He showed immediately that he wasn’t really angry and said: “Fill the jars with water”. The servants obeyed immediately and suddenly a marvel began to take place. Water began to acquire a new color, a new fragrance, a new flavor—all at once it was completely transformed. Of course, this transformation witnessed to the powerful presence of the Creator.... But this sign was not about God’s power over water but God’s power to transform us. Scripture says that this sign at Cana in Galilee was the first that Jesus performed, and so manifested his glory. More important yet, his disciples began to believe in Him. It was not what they saw happening to the water that they believed but that an ordinary human being was the Son of the Most High. Let’s believe this too, and believe it wholeheartedly. He whom we confess to be the Son of Man is also Son of God. We believe not only that he shared our nature but that he had a divine nature. If such is our faith then we should believe as well that his is the power to transform us as completely and wonderfully as he did the water into wine. But we mustn’t only believe. We must act out the transformation. This means living divine-human loving, just as Jesus loved. That is the point of the transformation. It requires too that we share Jesus’ cross, however. Are you longing for this transformation, and will welcome it no matter what the cost? (St. Maximus of Turin)

The miracle by which our Lord Jesus Christ changed water into wine is not at all astonishing to those who know that God is its author.   Indeed, it is exactly the same thing which produced wine in those six jars on that wedding day … and which renews this transformation in the vines each year.   That which the servants poured into the jars was changed into wine by the action of the Lord; in the same way the rain that falls from the clouds is changed into wine through the same action of the Lord.   And yet we do not wonder at it because it is repeated every year; custom has caused astonishment to disappear. Yet it is far more worthy of our attention than what took place in the jars filled with water. Indeed, who is there who dreams of considering the work of God who directs and governs the whole world?   Isn’t that person then seized with astonishment and as it were crushed beneath the weight of these miracles?   If they consider the power enclosed within a single seed of the first species to come, they will discover a great reality there that astounds the observer.   But people, otherwise occupied, have become insensible to the works of God, which would daily provide motives for praising the Creator.   This is why God reserves to Himself the work of certain unusual wonders, so as to awaken them from their sleepiness and lead them to praise Him (St Augustine of Hippo).

The people who witnessed the transformation of water into wine saw a miracle. But if we look closer, we see a truth about baptism and the life we live when we come forth from its waters. We see one thing become something new and wonderful. We are being transformed day by day, we see a lower reality becoming a higher one. This is the effect of our Second Birth. Just as water became wine so a law-governed life becomes a grace-lead life. We see that flesh is fulfilled by the Spirit and an ancient covenant fulfilled by a new one. “Former things have passed away; see everything is made new!” The water in the jars wasn’t lessened in quality but began a new way of existing. Christ doesn’t destroy what existed before Him but raises it up and brings it to fulfillment. (St. Faustus of Riez).

Our Redeemer became our Bridegroom. The bride became exhilarated at the sight of his noble countenance. Under this immense force she loses herself. The less she becomes, the more flows into her. The more loving God is to her, the higher she soars. The more his desire grows, the more extravagant their wedding celebration becomes. The narrower the bed of love becomes, the more intense are the embraces. The sweeter the kisses on the mouth become, the more lovingly they gaze at one another. The greater the distress in which they part, the more he bestows upon her. The more God's praise is spread abroad, the greater her desire becomes (Mechthild of Magdeburg).

The purpose of wine is not only to quench thirst, but also to give pleasure and satisfaction and exhilaration. "My cup, how goodly it is, how plenteous!" ....Wine possess a sparkle, a perfume, a vigour, that expands and clears the imagination. Under the form of wine Christ gives us his divine blood. It is no plain and sober drought. It was bought at a great price, at a divinely excessive price. Sanguis Christi, inebria me, prays Saint Ignatius, that Knight of the Burning Heart. In one of the antiphons for the feast of Saint Agnes, the blood of Christ is called a mystery of ineffable beauty. "I have drawn milk and honey from his lips, and his blood hath given fair color to my cheeks." For our sakes Christ became bread and wine, food and drink. We make bold to eat him and to drink him. This bread gives us solid and substantial strength. This wine bestows courage, joy out of all earthly measure, sweetness, beauty, limitless enlargement and perception. It brings life in intoxicating excess, both to possess and to impart (Romano Guardini).

The banquet [of Cana] is not only a banquet, but it is a wedding banquet, and the guests also constitute the bride. That is, the rejoicing is not only that of guests, but of one being married, and here is where the image of heaven is, without any shame, marital. The wedding which is celebrated includes the completely loving interpenetration of bride and groom, in a relationship which makes of them one thing, a relation of infinitely creative fecundity, freed, of course, from all the tensions, rivalries and complications which surround and diminish our experience and living-out of things erotic. Paul points this out when he explains marriage in Ephesians 5, comparing the conjugal relationship to that between Christ and the Church, but please notice that he doesn’t start from the conjugal relationship in order to explain heaven, but it is the heavenly relationship, that of heavenly self-giving and interpenetration in love, which is his starting point so as to understand the earthly reality of marriage. It seems to me that this image is also to nourish our hope-fired imaginations: it is the story of the ugly duckling, of Cinderella, made, much to her surprise, capable and worthy of a relationship of loving exchange with her swan, her prince, quite beyond her expectations. When Paul says that, at the end, everything will be subdued to Christ, who will be submitted to God, “so that God may be all in all” (1 Cor. 15:28), it is to be understood within this interpenetrative vision. Since we are formed from within entirely by the Other who has called us into existence, since “the other is consubstantial with the consciousness of the ‘self,'” at the end we will be entirely possessed by the God who possesses pacifically in an interchange that is ever more fecund and creative. We will be married participants, all our desires fulfilled, in that effervescent creative vitality (James Alison).

How can one celebrate a wedding feast and make merry without what the prophets indicated as a typical element of the messianic banquet? Water is necessary for life but wine expresses the abundance of a banquet and the joy of a feast.  This wedding feast was short of wine, the newlyweds are ashamed of this.   But just imagine ending a wedding feast drinking tea, it would be a shame.   Wine is necessary for a feast.   By transforming into wine the water of the jars used “for the Jewish rites of purification” (Jn 2:6), Jesus preforms an eloquent sign – He transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bearer of joy.   As John states elsewhere: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (1:17). Sometimes, even our best, beautiful dreams, our hard work and troubles – all go to nothing. Great works demand making sacrifices but sometimes we reach a wall. Let us pray that we – like Mary – know how to humbly show this situation to Jesus and that we strongly believe that even out of the greatest failure, He is able to produce the most unexpected good (Pope Francis).


Ironic, Isn’t It?

            One weakness of the Sunday Lectionary, in my opinion, is the relatively rare appearance of passages from the Gospel of John.  They do appear especially in the Easter season and in conjunction with the Scrutinies celebrated with catechumens during Lent and of course the Passion narrative on Good Friday.  If my math is correct there is a total of around 60 times out of  almost 700 sets of readings for Sundays and Solemnities when John is heard or about 8.5% of the total – although about 60% of the Gospel is heard over the course of the 3-year cycle and if one includes the weekday Lectionary, almost the entire Gospel is represented.  Some have even proposed having a Year D, or fourth year, added to the Lectionary to redress the situation, but I doubt that will happen.  Today at least we are treated to the story of the Wedding Feast at Cana in its traditional place on the second Sunday after Epiphany.

            Typical of John, the story is laden with symbolism and the surface features (the bride and groom, the wedding banquet, the presence of Jesus’ mother, the transformation of water into wine, etc.) almost always contain deeper significance. John is rarely content with a straightforward narration of facts.  The evangelist frequently operates on two levels, what one might call the literal and the mystical.  It is the latter, of course, that we should be searching out in a liturgical context.

            John often helps us do that when he pairs a lengthy discourse of Jesus with a miracle story, for example the Bread of Life discourse which accompanies the story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes.  The sign is one thing, its great theological significance related to Jesus’s Person is another.  And it’s the latter that gives the Fourth Gospel its unique depths of meaning.

            The story of Cana does not, however, despite being the first of Jesus’ signs, have an accompanying discourse.  One might have expected, for example, a lengthy exposition beginning as the others do with the words “I am” – already full of meaning since it evokes the divine Name of God revealed to Moses from the burning bush.  Something like an “I Am the True Bridegroom Discourse” replete with allusions from the Hebrew Bible where God speaks of having a spousal relationship with Israel as in our reading from Isaiah:  For the LORD delights in you and makes your land his spouse.  As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride (I).

            So let’s look elsewhere for something that might be going on here at the second, mystical, level of meaning.  But I must warn you, it’s not something biblical interpreters have been willing to acknowledge, though it does have to do with another well-known Johannine device, namely the use of irony, when the evangelist “uses words to express something quite different from their typical meaning.” And the phrase that interests me is Jesus response to his mother’s statement, They have no wine. (Cf. Charles Pope @

            Translators have different ways of rendering the Greek response.  The one that appears in the Lectionary from the New American Bible puts it this way: Woman, how does your concern affect me?  The literal phrase is, “What to me and to you, woman?”  And at the literal, surface level —in a well-known Semitic way of speaking -- the phrase is something like the translation; it is basically a way of saying that the wine shortage was none of his business and, by implication, none of Mary’s either. (I will leave to later the equally ironic use of the form of address, “Woman” — another Semitic usage, but as we will see, having another far-deeper meaning).

            Now if the literal sense were all John intended —  “Forget it, Mother, it’s not my affair nor is it the right time” —  it seems the whole rest of the story would be highly unlikely.  He is not about to accelerate his mission, not even for his mother.  Yet he does.  So does the response, especially when taken in its bare Greek form, have a secondary, ironic, meaning?  I believe it does.

            It seems to me that the phrase, given the whole sweep of the story, means something like, “How is what you are asking going to show our mutual association (i.e., “to me and to you”)? ” I say this because the only other time “the Woman” appears in the Gospel is at the cross when his “hour” had finally come.  When the “Beloved Disciple” (himself both a literal and symbolic figure) receives her as his mother and she her son.  So once again she is associated with him as his mission is accomplished as she was at its inauguration.  The birth pangs as a new humanity was brought forth (one meaning of the complex symbolism of the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the Crucified) would require a maternal participant, a “Woman” – indeed, the very mother of the Messiah.  The bridal couple at Cana then foreshadows the new humanity which would emerge from this birth, the Beloved Disciple and the several women at the foot of the cross being its firstfruits.  (And while probably not by the same author, though with Johannine resonances, the Book of Revelation also reflects this symbolism as “the Woman” of the Apocalypse who gives birth to the Messiah represents at the same time the persecuted church, “the rest of her offspring” (cf. Rev.12) while the consummation of human history is represented as a nuptial banquet, the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 20:9).    

            In addition to the deeper Mariological significance of the Cana story – over and beyond the pietistic interpretations that would use the story to ground her intercessory role relative to her Son, though I do not think that is entirely absent – there are Eucharistic overtones as well.  The sheer abundance of good wine is reminiscent of Isaiah’s vision of God’s future for the human race: 

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
    a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
    of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
 And he will destroy on this mountain
    the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
    the sheet that is spread over all nations;
     he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
    and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
    for the Lord has spoken.
 It will be said on that day,
    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
    This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
    let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.  (Is. 25:6-9; a better choice for the First Reading?)

            All of which every celebration of the Eucharist anticipates.  The invitation to Communion signals it when those who are blessed are called to the “supper of the Lamb” – a clear allusion to Revelation’s vision of the future consummation of human history.  When we will all drink the New Wine in the Reign of God: Who with the Son and Holy Spirit, live and reign, world without end. Amen. 


Intercessions (cf. Archdiocese of Adelaide)

Sisters and brothers, the revelation of Jesus though a miracle at the wedding feast at Cana, gave faith to his disciples.  In a spirit of faith let us pray.                                                                                                                              

We pray for our Church, that the variety of the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to all the baptised for a good purpose, will be recognised, honoured and shared by everyone and for everyone.

We pray for family life, that the miracle at the wedding feast will be a source of encouragement for many, and where necessary, of healing.

We pray for our world and nation, still struggling in the pandemic, that all will care for each other, receive the vaccine, and that our government will continue to provide for our neighbours who lack resources.

We pray that the violence in Myanmar will come to an end, the tensions between Russia and Ukraine ease, food be available in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Yemen and Ethiopia, and religious freedom be given to all who are persecuted.

We pray that God will rejoice over the departed as they are given the eternal life won for them by Jesus Christ.

God of wonders, at Cana in Galilee you revealed your glory in Jesus Christ and summoned all humanity to life in him. Show to your people gathered on this day your transforming power and give us a foretaste of the wine you keep for the age to come. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.  Amen (ICEL; 1998).



Come,  join in Cana's feast
Where Christ is honored guest.
He welcomes all who come to taste
The wine His hands have blessed.

The old wine now is gone
From jars that stand apart.
No longer can it satisfy
the yearning, thirsting heart.

But Christ, the Word made flesh,
Bids water turn to wine.
He fills our empty cups again
With grace and truth divine.

Come, friends, and share the feast;
Here drink the wine supplied
By Him who is both guest and host--
For us, the crucified.

For now He lives and reigns
through all eternity
With Father, Spirit, Three in One,
The glorious Trinity.

(Spiritual Communion)

After the Lord’s Prayer, welcome Christ the Bridegroom into the bridal chamber of your soul and seek whatever grace you need to “do whatever he tells you.”



Closing Hymn


The Lord said unto them,

“Fill the water pots with water

and then take some to the ruler of the feast.”

When the ruler of the feast tasted the water

that was made wine,

he said to the bridegroom:

“You have kept the good wine until now.”

This was the first of the signs that Jesus did

in the sight of his disciples.