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As we return to Ordinary Time, this year the Church gives us the beautiful Gospel of the Wedding Feast at Cana wherein Jesus works his first miracle by changing water into wine. 

Liturgically, this Gospel is the considered to be the third in a series of “epiphanies” or manifestations of who Jesus is. 

The first epiphany is to the Three Magi; the second is at the Baptism of the Lord; and today we have the third.

Wedding feasts were (as they still are) very important social gatherings. 

In the time of Jesus, especially in the Middle Eastern culture, the whole village was invited to the feast. 

Wedding imagery is used in the Old Testament as a metaphor of God’s relationship to His people, and in the New Testament marriage as a sacrament is a sign of Christ’s union with his Bride the Church. 

This symbolic tradition is brought to its fulfillment in the Book of Revelation which describes the heavenly liturgy as the wedding feast of the Lamb.

One of the keys to “getting more out of the Mass” is to keep all of this imagery in mind. 

We are guests at the wedding feast where Jesus, present in our midst, does not change water into wine, but transforms bread and wine into his Body and Blood. 

The Bridegroom gives himself for his Bride the Church and we are prepared to share in the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in heaven. 

All of this happening because of the great love and mercy of our God and savior, Jesus Christ!

Our second reading today, taken from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, describes other various spiritual gifts given by the Lord to the children of his Bride the Church.

Just as Jesus provided an abundance of the best wine at the wedding feast at Cana, so he pours out upon the Church the richness of the Holy Spirit.

We might not experience the particular gifts Paul describes, but we have been blessed with other spiritual gifts given for the benefit of the whole Body of the Church, and beyond.

We are once again given Mary as a model of cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

When asked to become the Mother of the Savior she said, "Let it be done to me according to your word."

When faced with the seemingly impossible task of providing wine at the wedding feast she turns to her Son Jesus.

And even though Jesus does not appear to be eager to work his first miracle, Mary instructs the waiters, "Do whatever he tells you."

In our journey of discipleship - which, in a way, we set out upon anew with the beginning of the Church's season of Ordinary Time - we place our lives at the service of the Lord trusting that he will give us the spiritual gifts we need to do whatever he tells us.

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