According to the Gospel of John, the first miracle Jesus ever performed happened at a wedding banquet in the town of Cana (John 2:1-11). The way John recounts this miracle, you can tell that he is making symbolic connections between the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and its climactic ending on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
For example, John points out that the miracle occurred on the “third day” (John 2:1). Jesus tells his mother, “My hour has not yet come” (2:4). John also tells us that with this miracle, Jesus “revealed his glory,” a glory that would come to full revelation when Jesus rose from the dead (2:11).
With all this symbolism, we might be tempted to overlook one of the more obvious messages of this miracle: God wants to bless married life. He wants to bless those marriages that are doing well, and he wants to bless those marriages that are struggling. In this month’s edition of The Word Among Us, we want to take a look at God’s original plan for marriage—that every married couple would look to him for grace and guidance. But we also know how sin began to cause problems in marriage from the moment our first parents disobeyed God. That’s why we want to proclaim that Jesus has given us all a “new day”—one that doesn’t have to be constrained by sin, one that can give every married couple divine power to live together in love.
On a more practical note, our second article offers a simple four-step plan that can help to bring the grace of Jesus into our homes. This plan has been tried and tested over many years. It has helped many married couples welcome God’s love into their homes—a love that is larger than the problems, weaknesses, and bad habits that we all bring with us (1 Peter 4:8). This plan is easy to practice, and there is no real downside. It can help to release the grace that is contained in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Finally, we want to look at the way every family can be a little church. This is the way St. John Chrysostom described the calling of family life sixteen hundred years ago, and the term still applies today. It means that even with the demands and responsibilities of family life, even with its share of problems and challenges, we can still find God’s grace to help us build a Christian environment in our homes.
We are all familiar with the potential hazards involved in marrying and raising a family. We know about the sin in our own hearts, and we know about the negative influences that come from the world around us. But we should never forget that God is with us. He has not left us alone. He wants to bless every marriage just as he blessed those newlyweds at Cana. Our Father has great plans for our welfare, plans to give our families “a future full of hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). It is our prayer that our articles this month will help inspire you to welcome Jesus into your home more fully, so that it can become a little church full of love.