Pope Francis celebrate with wine

By Tânia Rêgo/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons

“Wine expresses the abundance of the banquet and the joy of the feast.” -Pope Francis

Last Wednesday (June 8), Pope Francis, during his catechesis for the Year of Mercy, touched a topic that is a favorite among people all around the world, irrespective of their faith, wine. According to him, “wine expresses the abundance of the banquet and the joy of the feast.” Pope Francis said this as a teaser before dwelling into an in-depth look at the first miracle performed by Jesus, turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana.

According to the Holy Father, wine is an essential element in the messianic banquet as indicated by the prophets. A wedding feast lacking wine is an embarrassment to the newlyweds. That is why, Mary, during the wedding in Cana, upon noticing that the newlywed couple’s resources have depleted, informed the same to Jesus, and instructed the servants to do what Jesus tells them to do.

Pope Francis said that all of these acts carried significance. In the Gospels, the last words spoken by Mary is to do whatever Jesus says. It is her legacy to the world. It is her directive to listen to the words of God. It also resonates with the words used by the people of Israel upon receiving the covenant with God on Mount Sinai, “What the Lord has said, we will do.”

The reason why Jesus Christ selected a wedding feast to perform his first miracle, according to the Pope, has been because he wanted to reveal himself as the bridegroom of the people of God. He wanted to reveal the depth of his relationship to the people. Also, the changing of water used for Jewish purification rites into wine has been an eloquent sign from Jesus. He transformed the law of Moses into the Gospel, the herald of joy.

Before beginning the catechesis, the Pontiff greeted a group of couples celebrating 50 years of marriage. He said that “this is the good wine of the family.” Pointing to them, he asked the newlyweds to learn from them. He then thanked them for their witnessing.

Pope Francis further said during his catechesis that serving the Lord means listening to him and acting upon His words. It is the guide for a Christian life. In Cana, the faith of the Church was born. His disciples became His family. All the people are invited to the wedding of Cana, for the “new wine shall never be lacking.” The foundation of Christianity is the act of mercy where Jesus binds the people to Himself. The response to this love is the Christian faith. It is like the story of two lovers.

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