By Br. Matt Schaefer, C.PP.S.
“…And his disciples began to believe him.” A simple statement at the end of a straightforward and familiar story. But this nascent belief, as unsteady as a toddler’s first steps, started a movement. It was enough to keep these first disciples by Jesus’ side, and slowly their belief grew, aided by miracles of healing and abundance. And also aided by grace, for God never offers us the gift of faith without encouraging us through signs and examples and strengthening us in times of doubt and separation.
By selecting water jars used for ritual purification to perform his miracle, Jesus begins his three-year-long teaching on the New Covenant. Purification rituals and temple worship are no longer as important as they once were. Prayers for a messiah are no longer needed. Long-awaited salvation is at hand, but it is not salvation from the dangers of earthly enemies, but salvation from sin and death.
Just as a wedding begins a new family, this first miracle began a new community. A marriage is founded on love and is full of hope and possibilities at the start. And so it should be with our community, the Church, for it was God’s love for us that began the Church. The glory of God’s promises lies in the endless potential we have to give love and hope to each other.
May we all be blessed with the gift to see God working in ordinary things, in the simple actions of faith and hope that surround us at all times. May God grant each of us the miracle of continual and deepening conversion of our hearts and minds. And may our love for each other flow as abundantly as wine at Cana.
Br. Matthew Schaefer, C.PP.S., is in ministry at the Dayton Region Seven parishes, which include Emmanuel, Holy Trinity and St. Joseph.