Summary: Miracle at Cana
Sermon on: Water into wine.
May I speak in the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Amen.
In our Gospel reading today we heard the story of Jesus attending a wedding reception at Cana where, during the celebrations, the wine runs out. To solve the problem Jesus performs the miracle of changing the water into wine. A simple but significant achievement indeed, one might presume, for the Son of God, but what are the deeper connotations beneath this act?
He was obviously concerned for His fellow guests at this ignominious time and knew what was expected of him by his mother who was also in attendance. It was evident by the actions that He had much compassion in His heart for others. He did not want them to suffer embarrassment or to go without good quality refreshment. Not only would this act produce the best wine so far and ultimately portray His special qualities, but it also would satisfy the thirst of everyone at the banquet.
The definition of compassion, as stated in the Lexico English Dictionary, is to have sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others. It includes fellow feeling, empathy, and understanding to name but a few.
If we can't feel compassion for others in our Christian lives then the world is in a sorry state of affairs. We are not fulfilling God's wishes or desires to help one another.
People are dependent on the actions of others, especially when they are in times of trouble and need. It is very easy for one to walk away from the situation, bury our head in the sand and pretend that it does not exist. But what does this action achieve? Absolutely nothing, apart from misery and the feeling that nobody cares. Thinking about others and their needs is an essential part of Christianity. As God is there for us, we also need to be there for others. This is what makes a harmonious world.
There was once a boy named Michael. He was a very happy and contented youngster who was dearly loved by both of his parents. Unfortunately, when he reached the age of thirteen, his father became critically ill with a terminal illness and was admitted to hospital for his remaining days. His mother regularly took him to the hospital to see his father who was in a general ward, at his own request, as he did not want to be isolated in a room on his own without any companionship. Life was difficult enough for him as it was, without the added infliction of solitude.
In the bed next to his father's was a man in his forties, who was suffering from severe kidney problems. He was desperately in need of a transplant, but there was a long waiting list for such an operation and not enough donors available. The likelihood was that he would probably die, before he became eligible. The boy began to empathise with him and felt his pain. He wanted to help in any way he could. Why should a relatively young life have to be taken so needlessly?
Michael and the man became good and close friends over time and frequently chatted between themselves whilst his mother was comforting and speaking to his father. Unfortunately, the time came when his father passed away peacefully during the night and the young boy became grief-stricken at the loss.
He loved his father and wanted his memory to live on in another human being if it was at all possible. He asked the doctors at the hospital about the possibilities of becoming a living kidney donor.
He was informed that, with the permission of his mother, he could go through the various tests required to ascertain if his kidney would be compatible with the recipient he had in mind. Luck was on his side and after the various tests, it was found that not only was his kidney compatible, but also there was a good chance of a successful transplant.
His mother was obviously concerned about her son losing a kidney at such an early age in life but decided that if her son wished this to happen she would allow it. The final decision was left to him.
The operation was completed successfully and the body of the man receiving the donation accepted the replacement kidney without complications. On the day before he was due to be discharged the man asked to see Michael to thank him for giving him life. The mother and Michael arrived at the bedside and in the man's hand were two china turtle doves. He offered one to the boy and asked him to accept it and keep it as a sign of their new-found and eternal friendship and the gratitude that remained in his heart for such a courageous and selfless act from one so young.