The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 74.

Some sixty years after this miracle St. John, having observed that there was no reference to it in the Synoptic Gospels, gives us his narrative and, having occasion later to refer once more to Cana, writes : " Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine." (John iv. 6.)

The name of Cana, the obscure village in Galilee, should never be allowed to fade away from the memory of Christian men.

The fact that this miracle is recorded in the fourth Gospel (though it was omitted by the Synoptics) is seen to be the more remarkable when we remember that St. John (unlike the other Evangelists, who pay much attention to our Lord's Galilean Ministry) ordinarily passes over what occurred in Galilee, in order to devote himself to the Ministry in Judaea.

We must remember that St. John's Gospel, as he himself tells us, is a thesis rather than a history.

"Many other signs (miracles) also Jesus did in the sight of His disciples which are not written in this book, but these are written in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His Name." (John xx. 30-31.)

The thesis is contained in the words: " that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." The motive of the thesis is that readers of the book " may believe and have life." The thesis is documented by certain historical facts—miracles worked by our Lord-chosen deliberately out of a great number — a number so large that the Apostle writes hyperbolically that he thinks that " the world would not be able to contain all the books that would have to be written, if they were written every one."

There was, then, some special reason which led St. John to rescue the miracle worked at Cana in Galilee from the oblivion into which otherwise, together with many other wonderful works of our Lord, it would have fallen. They served their divine purpose at the time. In the providence of God they have not been recorded in the Gospels.

We shall hardly be likely to attribute St. John's selection of the miracle at Cana to its wonderful character in itself. Though of much importance from a philosophical or theological standpoint, the changing of water into wine in a private house, as a wonder, is not nearly so striking as, for example, the feeding of five thousand men with a few barley loaves, nor does it seem so marvellous as giving sight to men born blind, or casting out devils, or raising the dead, or many other miracles worked by Christ.

It has been suggested that the Evangelist narrated this miracle because our Lord instituted at Cana the Sacrament of Matrimony—but there is no proof that this Sacrament was instituted at this time, nor does it seem even likely. The Wedding Feast at Cana was no doubt infinitely honoured by the Presence of the Author of Marriage, but there is no sign in the sacred narrative that the fact of the miracle was recorded in order to honour Holy Matrimony.