Carrying Water — 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time—Year C

Today’s Gospel, the miracle at the wedding fest of Cana, is a scene rich in symbolism and has many preachable parts. For example, the water of Old Covenant law is changed into New Covenant wine. It is the seventh day in John’s Gospel, according to the narration, pointing to a new Creation and rest. And the New Adam and the New Eve are at a wedding feast together, foreshadowing the marriage of Christ and His Church. But this morning, I would like to bring your attention to an extraordinary part of this Gospel which we disregard as being ordinary. I’m referring to the six stone water jars and the servers who carried them.

“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.”

You’ve carried a gallon of milk before.   Imagine carrying 25 gallons of milk. I doubt you could do it all at once. Not only would they be too bulky, they would be awfully heavy too. Maybe you could put them on a pole and carry them with a partner. Maybe that’s what the servers in the Gospel had to do, or maybe they were doing laps between the well of Cana and the stone jars at the party. In either case, they we’re hauling an awful lot of water and weight.

Now a gallon of water weighs a little more than eight pounds. If each jar in the Gospel was at least 40 pounds of stone and held 20 to 30 gallons, then we are talking about six filled jars weighing 200 to 300 pounds apiece. And we know they were completely filled, for Mary had told them, “Do whatever he tells you,” and Jesus had told them, “Fill the jars with water.” “So they filled them to the brim.”

The saying “To carry water for (someone)” means to do a menial or difficult task for others.  That’s what these servers were doing and they definitely felt the burden.  Did they have any idea, as they carried those 1,500 pounds of stone and water, that they were a part of something remarkable? Did they know that they were playing an intimate role in one of Jesus’ most memorable miracles? No, they had no idea, not until later, and this reflects a encouraging truth for us to hold onto this week. We often don’t realize the extraordinary impact of our ordinary sacrifices.

You may feel burdened in your life, like your just scrapping or limping along; at work, at school, or at home; with your peers, your friends, or your family. But you do more good than you know. Sometimes we catch glimpses of this, like when someone takes your hand and says, “Thank you sooo much,” or when someone shares with you that they have always looked up to you, or when a child grows to realize and thank you for everything you did for them. After this life, one of our joys in heaven will be seeing how our ordinary sacrifices have touched and changed the lives of thousands, even millions, of people.

Like the servers with their six stone jars, we disregard our efforts as ordinary and do not realize their extraordinary impact. Maybe you don’t see it now, but your ordinary sacrifices do more good than you know. Let us be encouraged by recalling this truth in our daily lives, for if you’re carrying water for Jesus, you’re going to have a part in His miracles. So, “do whatever He tells you,” no matter how ordinary it may seem.

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One Response to “Carrying Water — 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time—Year C”

  1. dcmattozzi Says:

    Thanks and God Bless

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