|The wedding feast at Cana|
This morning my husband and I went to the 8:30 Mass at St. John the Baptist in Front Royal which was an ad orientem high Novus Ordo -- very reverent, Gregorian chant, incense -- lovely. But I have to say the sad thought came to me that, no matter how well it's done, the Novus Ordo is a poor imitation of the Traditional Latin Mass. It will never be the Mass of the Ages and we lost the unity, the oneness, of all people worshiping in the same language.
Having said that, though, Father gave a wonderful homily on the "third Epiphany," a concept which was new to me. He explained the meaning of epiphanies as manifestations of Christ's divinity. The first occurred when the wise men came and bowed before the babe in the manger recognizing him as King. The second occurred at the river Jordan when John baptized Jesus and the Father spoke from heaven acknowledging his Son before the world. "This is my beloved Son Listen to Him." And the third happened at the wedding feast at Cana when Jesus performed His first miracle and Mary told the servants, "Do whatever He tells you." Father didn't say this, but it occurred to me that this was also a manifestation of Jesus as Priest (changing water into wine), Prophet ("Listen to Him!"), and King (the magi bowing and bending the knee before His humble manger throne).
Father spoke about John's gospel being "bracketed" by Mary pointing to her participation in Jesus' saving mission. Jesus calling her "woman" sounds cold to our ears. But it's the same word He uses on Calvary when He says, "Woman, behold your son." It's the same word used for Eve in Genesis and confirms Mary as the new Eve, mother of all the redeemed.
I was fascinated by Father's explanation of why Jesus' public life began at a wedding feast. The Jews, he said, associated the coming of the Messiah with a feast and choice wines:
And the Lord of hosts shall make unto all people in this mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wine, of fat things full of marrow, of wine purified from the lees. (Isaiah 25:6)
Jesus not only exposed His divinity at the wedding feast, but He fulfilled the prophecies that referred to the Messiah. He gave the world a third "epiphany" letting them know that God's promise to send a Redeemer was fulfilled. "His time" would come later on Calvary where, once again, Mary participating in His mission, suffered in union with Him for the salvation of mankind. Jesus manifested her mission from the cross appointing her as intercessor and Mother of the Church.
What a great day! A time to celebrate marriage and Catholic family life. Open a bottle of bubbly and serve a special dessert. For today is an epiphany of the Lord. Worship Him. Listen to Him. And do whatever He tells you.
Jesus, King of the Universe, have mercy on us!
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!