The account of the Wedding Feast of Cana is the third major Christophany following those of the Epiphany and Baptism (N.B. Magnificat antiphon for Vespers of the Epiphany). The early Church understood all these three historically separated commemorations to be mystically one. John’s Gospel does not use the word miracle (as in the Synoptics ….) but the word semeion – sign. The 7 signs of John – all in the first section of the Book (Chapters 1-12) point to the sign par excellence – the glory of the Paschal Mystery (Chapters 13-20). The wedding feast of Cana with all its rich imagery is the first of these. Already, at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus, fully in control of events as he is portrayed throughout the Gospel, points to his destiny. This is enhanced by the term with which he addresses his mother – ‘woman’. We are already preparing for the same use of the term, indicating the new Eve, from the Cross (John 2:1-11). The revelation of the third section of Isaiah is of Jerusalem restored after the Exile – not just the forsaken, abandoned mother but now once again a new bride ( Isaiah 62:1-5). The pericope from First Corinthians concentrates on the unity that the Spirit brings in the diversity of gifts (I Corinthians 12:4-11).
Dei Verbum insists on the special place that the Gospels have of all the inspired writings, ‘because they are the principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Saviour.’ It then reiterates – against various on-going currents of Scripture scholarship – the apostolic origin of the four-fold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (DV 18). Thus accounts such as the Wedding Feast of Cana, unique to John, is part of the whole Gospel of Christ.
Canon Mervyn Tower