EventsTwo of our readings today include Weddings.
In our first reading we talk about a wedding between Israel and God.
As Israel returns from exile in Babylon, God forgives and forgets the past and calls Israel his bride “for the lord takes delight in you and your land will have its wedding. The relationship between God and Israel has been changed.
And in our Gospel reading from John, we talk of the wedding at Cana in Galilee
This is a wedding that both Jesus and his mother have been invited along with Jesus’s disciples.
The main story though, is on Jesus and his Changing of water into wine. Not just a few bottles but six large stone water jars, each holding about 30 gallons, in my reckoning that’s equivalent to about 900 bottles of wine. (What a party! ).
Of course the real reason that this wedding at canna makes it into John’s gospel is not for the wine and the party, but because it was the first miracle performed by Jesus, he performs his first of many more miracles to come, and his disciples had witnessed it. He had revealed his glory, this event would Change how they saw Jesus, and he would now begin his campaign a campaign that would eventually take him to the cross.. And we know now just how much this has changed the world we live in.
Both the Weddings in the readings are about change, they are about new beginnings.
Change is usually for the best, but it is not always easy. Ask any parent when their first child is born whether change is easy, their lives are turned upside down with sleepless nights, feeding, continuous nappies to change, and all the other situations that happen when a new baby enters into their lives. But ask them if they would change what they now have for what they had before and I am sure that most if not all of them would say no.
The marriage of two people is perhaps the most intimate of personal relationships we can have, these two people are changed a change that will mature, as time goes by, ever deepening and more fulfilling. This change is mentioned in Genesis “Therefore a Man leaves his Father and Mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (G2:24). Two joined together in wedlock becoming one flesh. Two become one (I am sure there is a song dying to come out here) ,Even the relationship between mother and child cannot equal it.
And so if we can see such positivity in change why is their always a temptation to try and resist it?
Some years ago Aldi supermarkets ran an advert campaign (other supermarkets are available) they showed you a leading brand and then an Aldi cheaper equivalent and the caption would be “I like this one but I also like this one, I like change” showing that the cheaper one was just as good as the leading brand was. ( I think the most memorable of the is set of adverts was the old lady holding up a branded box and non-branded box of teabags and saying my Husband likes these and he also likes these but I don’t like tea, I like Gin.)
Now I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to food brands I like my cornflakes with the rooster on the packet, my rice crispies need snap, crackle and pop,and my cans of beens need to be endorsed by a million housewives every day. I was not keen on the Aldi equivalents and the same went for soup, butter, bread etc.etc.
My children a lot younger then, were quick to pick up on this and they would start picking up various brands whilst in the supermarkets, and would find it hilarious to try and mimic me by saying” I like this one but I don’t like this one, I don’t like change” this is still a standing joke in our house to this day.
All a bit of fun, but actually I suppose like many I was to a degree opposed to change, I liked things the way they were.
And we can see this in society today all the time. And I don’t just mean the old man that must have his breakfast at 7:30 every morning, or the neighbour who gets upset that the local post office is closing at 5:30 instead of 6:00pm. I would imagine you all know people that are set in their ways and resist even these minor changes.
But these are not the sort of changes we should be concerned about.
We resist changes being made in our own interests, like the changes we are asked to make in order to try and slow down the spread of corona virus.
We watch on as our planet faces one of the biggest environmental crises in its history. But we refuse to see or accept any need for change foolishly believing it will sort itself out.
Even as global warming becomes blatantly obvious we continue to turn a blind eye. “there’s no need to change, nature has a way of sorting things”
We fail to see the need for change as thousands of animal species face extinction or have their habitats destroyed to provide for our ever demanding consumption.
We are not prepared to share our wealth and way of life in order that others may be brought out of hunger and poverty.
Governments continuously need to change, countries continuously need to change, we continuously need to change and our attitudes to these ongoing topics need to change
It is the rule of life, the cells in our bodies are constantly changing and renewing, the seasons must change
Change is not all bad, change can be good, Change is good. Like a good marriage there will be ups and downs. As we make these changes not everything will always run smoothly,
Change is by no means easy and we could be in for rough times but eventually it is usually for the best. Maybe our generation will not live to see the benefits, but future generations, our Grandchildren, possibly even our own children will.
Since the beginning of time we have been changing and adapting. The Bible repeatedly tells of change,
just a couple of weeks ago we celebrated an event that changed our very relationship with God; we welcomed God in human form as a fragile baby. The word became flesh.
Today as we celebrate Mass, Bread and wine will be transformed (changed) into the most precious body and blood of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ. And we eagerly and reverently approach his alter of to consume that precious body and drink that precious blood as we strive to be “changed” to become more like Jesus, to become better Christians.
In a few more weeks we will enter into lent when we will prepare ourselves throughout the Lenten period, yet again preparing for a life changing event, and we shall live out this event as we enter into holy week. That small helpless babe we welcomed into the world is now going to once again, change our futures, he will go to the cross totally innocent and without sin of his own, but he will take with him all the sins of humankind and he will pay (for us) the ultimate price.
But we as Christians know that his death was not the end, conquering death he will arise again victorious changing deaths grip over us forever, death will no longer have any claim on those of us who have believed in Jesus.
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
However hard it may be to embrace the changes we will need to make over the coming years, we must all think of the future generations, and we must remember the changes made for us by God the Father, Son and spirit.
And most of all we must continue to trust God and his mercy and know that his love for us will be the one thing we can rely on that will never change.