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Imagining the Lectionary: Better beyond belief (Epiphany 2C)

Reflection accompanying image “You have kept the good wine until now

In St John's Gospel emptiness and fulfilment are the polar opposites which frame the first public disclosure of God's amazing intentions in the ministry of Jesus. Just when the good times are about to stop rolling and the party come to an abrupt and unwelcome end, the two
families at the centre of the wedding celebrations in Cana are spared the shame and stigma of not being able to provide sufficient wine to keep their guests inebriated and enjoying themselves.
Jesus takes what is to hand and already in place and transforms it so that the promise of happiness, togetherness and sharing can be realised to the full, exceeding all expectations of those present and ensuring that the hosts and the wedding couple themselves will afterwards be lauded in the memory of the community rather than reproached.That emptiness, both literal in the case of the guest's empty cups and the empty jugs of wine on the tables with none to follow, and figurative in the sense of the emotional pain and social isolation which the principals avoid, clearly matters to John's Gospel. Being fulfilled is God's answer to the world's angst-ridden emptiness, and it is an answer that is freely, extravagantly and powerfully offered through Jesus, the fulfilling Word of Life made flesh and blood real
amongst us.


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