- Catholic News Agency - Thursday, June 9, 2016

Vatican City - In an in-depth look at Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, Pope Francis pointed to several key moments in the scene that illuminate our understanding of Christ.

One of these key moments, he said, comes with Mary’s observation that newlywed couple’s resources have depleted, and that at a certain point “they have no wine.”

“How is it possible to celebrate the wedding and have a party if you lack what the prophets indicated was a typical element of the messianic banquet?” the Pope asked.

While water is necessary to live, “wine expresses the abundance of the banquet and the joy of the feast,” Francis said, noting that “a wedding feast lacking wine embarrasses the newlyweds – imagine finishing the wedding feast drinking tea? It would be an embarrassment!”

“Wine is necessary for the feast,” he said, and pointed to how Jesus, in turning the water into wine, makes “an eloquent sign,” because “he transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bringer of joy.”

Pope Francis spoke to the thousands of pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience. He continued his ongoing catechesis on mercy, turning from Jesus’ parables to his miracles.

However, before beginning his address, the Pope took a moment to greet a group of couples present celebrating 50 years of marriage.

“That’s the good wine of the family!” he said of the couples, and told them that “yours is a witness that the newlyweds I’ll greet after and the youth must learn. It’s a beautiful witness. Thank you for your testimony!”

Francis then turned to the second chapter in the Gospel of John, which recounts the miracle that began Jesus’ public ministry: turning water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana, upon the request of his mother.

This miracle, the Pope said, serves as ” ‘an entry point’ in which are engraved the words and expressions that illuminate the entire mystery of Christ and open the hearts of the disciples to the faith.”

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