Initial thoughts on the readings for the second sunday in Epiphany
This morning’s reading from Isaiah was written for those who had returned from exile in Babylon, only to find a destroyed Jerusalem, a shattered remnant, and little hope that the great days of the past could be restored. Their hopes had turned to dust, and they lived in a dark place. In that darkness the writer offers hope. Hope of God’s presence. Hope of God’s activity, restoring them, announcing them to be God’s beloved, God’s bride, with God the bridegroom. What does God say to our hopelessness in these words?
Today we also hear of another bride and bridegroom. Set on the third day, Jesus is at the wedding feast in Cana as a guest, his mother with the women creating the feast. The temptation is to call this a miracle, and get hung up on that. John doesn’t call it a miracle, but a sign. A sign that points to who Jesus is. A sign that points to the fact that the reign of God is in their midst. It is more important to focus on what the sign points to than the sign itself. This sign points to Jesus death and resurrection (when Jesus’ hour does come, and we encounter another third day). It points to the Eucharist, the symbol of God’s reign and God’s infinite generosity, when all gather with God, when hope is restored, and all our hopes and longings, the hopes and longings of those who first heard Isaiah, find fulfilment.