Second Sunday OT – 2019
Wedding at Cana
By Father Michael
Do whatever He tells you
Three great mysteries are commemorated regarding the Epiphany of our Lord. The adoration of the Magi, the Baptism of the Lord, and today we celebrate the third great Epiphany mystery, the marriage feast, the wedding at Cana.
We see that the mother of Jesus was at the wedding, and Jesus was also invited. He shows us the good of being at the wedding feast. At His mother’s request, we see Jesus perform His first miracle. Our Lady tells the severs, do whatever He tells you, and the Mother of God knew that such a statement could only be made regarding her Divine Son. Obedience to God only grants blessing whereas disobedience only spells disaster.
The Church attaches great importance to Jesus’ presence at the wedding at Cana. She sees in it the confirmation of the goodness of marriage. Marriage being an efficacious sign of Christ’s presence (CCC 1613). Marriage being an efficacious sign, meaning being able to produce an effect, an effect of Christ’s presence between both baptized man and woman within matrimony.
Hence, Christ elevated the matrimonial covenant to a sacrament and God Himself is the author of marriage. Marriage, a permanent and indissoluble bond. The partnership of husband and wife is ordered to the good of each other and the procreation and education of offspring. The home, it’s the domestic church, and it is the place to raise the future citizens of heaven.
We know within the book of Genesis, in the beginning God created them, both male and female, and both are made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, both husband and wife share an equal dignity with each other.
As for marriage in the Lord, Saint Paul gives great insight within the book of Ephesians as to how the roles of husband and wife are to be. He tells us:
“Let women be subject to their husbands as to the Lord: because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. He is the savior of his body. Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ: so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church and delivered himself up for it” (Eph. 5:22-25).
What does this all mean? The Father, the husband, is the head of the family. The burden, the onus is upon him. He has been given authority from on high. With that said, it is most important to remember that we don’t look at such authority in a secular or politicized fashion. The authority that is given by Almighty God is always given in reference for the good of the other. Hence, the husband’s authority and being the representative of God within the family he is to live as another Christ. He is to do this for his beloved. As Saint Paul tells us, husbands are to love their wives as the Church as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it.
The husbands love for his wife is to be sacrificial just our Lord’s as He ascended Calvary on the royal road of the Cross. The authority he possesses is for his wife’s good, to will her good, to die to ones-self each day a little bit more. In its extreme, the man is to sacrifice his own life in self-defense for both wife and children.
The man’s rule within the family is to be one of gentleness, kindness, and to have leniency for his wife, since like Adam, Eve being made of the flesh taken from his side. The authority that the man possesses is never to be felt as a burden to the other. For any man who acts in this way towards his wife his behavior is both sinful and shameful. He is to be a representative of God within the household.
And so, husbands are to plead to Saint Joseph, the just man, to be good fathers, to be good leaders. This authority that Saint Paul speaks of was also evidenced within the Holy Family. God gave the great example of how to rule and to govern as we see that the angel did not appear to Mary in a dream, but to Saint Joseph, and the flight into Egypt was to be made under him.
As for the wife, a sacrifice of obedience is to be made, like that of our Lady, our heavenly mother who was perfectly obedient to Almighty God. This does not mean a slavish servitude. For when the man and woman come together the two become one flesh. Even though rule is established by the man he is still dependent on the will of his wife. As Saint Ambrose tells us, not just one yoke exists as if the man were still single, but there is a double yoke which rests upon both on husband and wife and they pull together.
The good wife also will always influence her husband far more effectively by her silence, meekness, prayer, rather than by reproaches. This is part of the feminine genius and the character of the truly strong woman. Saint Augustine tells us that his mother, Saint Monica, did more for the conversion of her husband Patricius by the saintliness of her life rather than by her words. As the book of Proverbs tells us as for the husband who has the good wife, how precious is she, and how fortunate is he to have her. Her children call her blessed, her husband praises her. And as the book of proverbs continues: “Charm is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 30:31). As we can see, sacrifice is required by both husband and wife.
Now when the divine order is followed, happiness accompanies it. We can certainly say we’re glad when we follow the Ten commandments. Blessedness, happiness comes when we ascend the Beatitudes. So, it is for us in our states in life. A priest will be happy if he is a man of prayer and sacrifice. A couple will be happy in reverencing each other and appreciating the complementarity and different roles of one another.
Most especially, within the sacraments, such as marriage, God grants us graces of state. This is particularly the case when we follow His Divine Designs. In the sacrament of Matrimony, between baptized man and woman, special graces are attached to this state. There is the great mutual affection for one another who receive this sacramental grace. Strength is given to them to preserve inviolable fidelity to one another and to bear with patience the ills of life. Those ills being the faults and failings of the other or their troubles with their children. Grace is also given to discharge the most important duty of all, to raise their children in the fear and love of God.
Rather than being married for earthly motives, the sacrament of matrimony serves as a means to get husband, wife, and children to heaven. It grants great graces. Therefore, it’s important to encourage both young and old to be married within the Church. It will provide the assistance that the married need. Maybe some here know some Catholics who haven’t been married in the Church. You can encourage them to get their marriages rectified in the Church. By doing so, the Church would recognize those marriages as true, and then they would be pleasing before the eyes of Almighty God. Feel free to encourage anyone to contact their local priest regarding this.
Christ elevated marriage to a sacrament. Through it, husband and wife reverence each other, and sanctify one another. Encourage those who are married outside the Church to come in and have elevated it to the sacrament it is meant to be. Encourage the youth to commit, to be married. It’s countercultural. Truly it’s a sign of contradiction against the rest of the world which rails against commitment and most especially the holiness and sacredness of the family. In promoting and defending the sacrament of marriage we can help strengthen and rebuild Christian society.