Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11
Theme: Marriage – Value Added Transformation
A Wedding Homily
John 2:1-11 narrates the story of the wedding at Cana, in Galilee. Today we have also gathered to witness the wedding between Joe and Ivy at Community 8, in Tema.
We are familiar with VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT), but I want to tell you about another type of VAT – VALUE ADDED TRANSFORMATION. This is the miracle Jesus performed at the wedding at Cana, by changing water into wine. He added VALUE to water by transforming it into wine.
Jesus could have provided wine without asking for some water. But since he asked for water, it means that for every couple to enjoy the miracle of transformation, they have to offer Jesus something. Joe and Ivy, to know what to offer Jesus, I want you to pick out some lessons from the uses and characteristics of water.
Secondly, since six (6) stone jars were filled with water at the wedding at Cana, I will limit myself to six brief lessons: three (3) from the uses of water and three (3) from the characteristics of water.
USES OF WATER
The three uses of water we shall consider are:
a. For drinking
b. For cooking and,
c. For washing
a. DRINKING: We may take various types of drink (beer, wine, coke, etc), but our thirst may not be quenched or satisfied. For most of us, only water really satisfies our thirst. Water, therefore, signifies satisfaction.
So, Ivy and Joe, as long as you satisfy each other’s genuine religious, emotional, material, social, financial and intimacy needs, you are offering Jesus some water to transform into the joy (wine) of marriage.
b. COOKING: Joe and Ivy, most marriages, particularly African marriages, cannot survive if meals are often taken outside the home.
Ivy, as an African lady, be prepared (within the limits that your work schedule allows) to cook. And Joe, NO CHOP-MONEY, NO FOOD; as long as you are employed, provide Ivy with some money for the ingredients. Of course, there may be times that Joe may cook, or Ivy may use her own money to buy the ingredients.
Joe and Ivy, Jesus did not ask for any extraordinary thing in order to provide the couple at Cana with wine. He asked for ordinary water. Similarly, in performing your ordinary duties of providing “chop-money” and cooking, Jesus brings contentment in the marriage.
c. WASHING: Water is used for washing and in baptism it signifies the cleansing of our sins. In other words, water signifies forgiveness. Joe and Ivy, anytime you forgive each other, you offer Jesus the water of marriage which he transforms into a long lasting union.
CHARACTERISTICS OF WATER
The three characteristics of water we shall consider here are:
a. It is colorless;
b. It is shapeless;
c. It is tasteless.
a. COLORLESS: That water is colorless means that it may signify transparency or honesty.
So, Joe and Ivy be emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and financially transparent to each other. When you do this, Jesus will transform the colorless water of your marriage into mutual trustworthiness. And such trustworthiness gives a sweet wine taste to your marriage. On the other hand, when one discovers that his or her partner is dishonest or unfaithful, it brings bitterness in the union.
b. SHAPELESS: Water is shapeless; it takes the shape of its container. This means that water signifies flexibility or adjustment. Joe, if Ivy’s shape changes with time (for instance, due to child-birth), do also make the necessary adjustments.
Ivy, if at a point in time, Joe becomes unemployed, adjust to the new situation. When you both learn to adjust, Jesus transforms the shapeless water of your marriage into the sweet wine of marriage.
c. TASTELESS: The tastelessness of marriage signify those ordinary moment of the marriage when there are no excitements, as well as, the familiarity that soon creeps into marriage a few months or years after the wedding.
Joe and Ivy, when you do not allow boredom to lead you to look for excitement in a third person, when you do not allow familiarity of each other to breed contempt, Jesus transforms the tasteless water of your marriage into the sweet wine of steadfast love.
Joe and Ivy, finally, we pray that you will always endeavor to provide Jesus with the water of your marriage and that when you do so,
- he will transform your water of satisfaction into the wine of joy in your marriage, AMEN!!
- he will transform your water of cooking into the wine of contentment and good health, AMEN!!
- he will transform your water of forgiveness into the wine of a long lasting marriage that only death can separate, AMEN!!
- he will transform your colorless water into the wine of trustworthiness and faithfulness, AMEN!!
- he will transform your shapeless water into the wine of fruitfulness of the womb and prosperity, AMEN!!
- he will transform your tasteless water into the sweet wine of steadfast love, AMEN!!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis