When the Water Turned to Wine

Jesus turns the water to wineJohn 2:1-11 When did it happen; at what point did the water turn to wine? There are no active words from Jesus calling the water wine. The waiters followed his instructions, filling the jars to the brim. They would have seen, and smelled the effervescence of wine had the change taken place immediately. Jesus then says “draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” Some what; some water or some wine? I imagine it was still water and that the waiters were demonstrating faith taking a sample of it to the headwaiter. The actual instant of the miracle seems to be elusive. In the institution of the Eucharist, Jesus’ words are direct, “this is my body,” and again, “this is my blood.” Yet the change is not visible in the Eucharist; Christ’s Body and Blood are present under the appearances of bread and wine. But here at the miracle at the Cana wedding, Jesus is indirect, and the change in substance is visible. If Christ can bring about a visible change of substance without a direct command, as in the miracle of turning water into wine, how much more could He bring about the invisible change of substance when His words are direct, as in the Institution of the Eucharist? The disciples, indeed even priests today, are like the waiters following Jesus’ instructions as the Holy Spirit changes the substance of bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ. For the waiters to trust the instructions from Jesus, it took faith: for us to trust the teaching of the Church, it takes faith.

John 2:1-11
View in: NAB Vulg Greek
1And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there.
2And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine.
4And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come.
5His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.
6Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.
7Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it.
9And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom,
10And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

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