Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by GMC
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.John 2:1-11
Does the “third day” ring a bell? Yes, wedding bells and more! The Fathers of the Church rhapsodized about the miracle of the “mystic wine” on the third day after Christ’s baptism, a sign of the nuptial union of divinity and humanity through the Incarnate Word.
Christmas and Epiphany are a wedding celebration:
Today the Bridegroom claims his bride the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi hasten with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine, alleluia.
Liturgy of the Hours, Epiphany, Morning Prayer, Benedictus Antiphon
Three mysteries mark this holy day: today the star leads the Magi to the infant Christ; today water is changed into wine for the wedding feast; today Christ wills to be baptized by John in the river Jordan to bring us salvation.
Liturgy of the Hours, Epiphany, Vespers II, Magnificat Antiphon
The “third day” also rings Resurrection and the triumph of the Trinity:
On the third day there was a wedding. What wedding can this be but the joyful marriage of man’s salvation, a marriage celebrated by confessing the Trinity or by faith in the resurrection. That is why the marriage took place “on the third day,” a reference to the sacred mysteries which this number symbolizes.Liturgy of the Hours, Saturday after Epiphany, Office of Readings, From a sermon by Faustus of Riez, bishop
In the long centuries leading up to the birth of Emmanuel, King and Bridegroom of Israel and the Church, patriarchs and prophets longed for the mystic wine on God’s holy mountain:
On this mountain the Lord of hostsIsaiah 25:6
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On the third day Christ turned water into wine
At a wedding feast, his first glorious sign.