THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, THE GOSPEL JOHN.2.V.42.THE THURSDAY MEDITATION
GOSPEL (John 2:1-11)
At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: "They have no wine." And Jesus saith to her: "Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come." His mother saith to the waiters: "Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye." Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: "Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast." And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, And saith to him: "Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now." This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
ANOTHER reason why Christ came to this marriage was, to honor, and approve matrimony as good, and lawful: knowing ( as Saint Paul foretell), there should come certain heretics (as there have been such already) that were so far from honoring, it as a Sacrament inſtituted by Christ (as Catholics hold,) that they would condemn it as evil & not of God; Christ therefore being to institute it, and make it a Sacrament, and (Saint Paul saith ) a great Sacrament; a Sacrament, and holy Sign of that moſt venerable, & inviolable union or marriage, between Christ, and his Church, to whom Christ hath espouſed him self in faith; he would here before hand honor marriage with the preſence of him self, his bleſſed mother, and his diſciples, and with the firſt miracle he is read in holy Scripture to have done; though of others that are not written he did so many, as Saint John testify, that if they should be written the world would not contain them; where by Christ did exceedingly honor not only the married couple, but also marriage it self: where upon Saint Paul calleth marriage honorable, and saith further, that a wife shall be Saved by bearing children, he saith not breeding or educating children, for so shall others as well as she, but by generation whereby the very office of matrimony, is approved, not only for lawful but meritorious, only. Saint Paul haying said this of a wife for bearing of children, he addeth if she remain in her fidelity, and look not only to God but to her Husband, and Sanctity with sobriety S.Peter then describing mutual Offices of both husband and wife saith, of wives, Lett Women be subject to their husbands as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him her Master; and let men cobabitate or dwell together with them, according to knowledge or prudently giving honor unto the feminine sex as to the weaker vessel, as coheires with them of the grace of life, that their prayer be not hindered, in which words concerning the man, it is to be noted that Saint Peter saith. he must cohabitate with his wife according to knowledge, learning diligently her nature, and disposition, and having learned it, that he beare with her, if she be weak: in any thing as one would beare which a weak or brickle vessel, as a glass, which though it be nor of that price nothing like as a bowl or goblet of gold or silver; yet he will handle the glass a great deal more obarily then the bowl, for fear of breaking it.
So must the man be very careful to accommodate him self, to his wife according to her nature, and disposition, least be make a breach between them, and continual breawles where of the man being the head, and should therefore have more knowledge & discretion must have special care, to the end, as Saint Peter saith in the words following, they may give them selves to prayer, and devotion, with can set not be done well but with quietness, and tranquility of mind.
And further we may note there words of Saint Peter concerning them both, that they muſt cohabitate , and dwell together,chat is to say : live together in mutual love, and unity, as two in one flesh.
Otherwiſe, though they dwell together under one roof, and lye together in one bed, they doe not cohabitate together. If theſe mutual offices be obſerved between man, and wife,our Savior Christ, & our bleſſed lady will be with them, and turn water into wine, that is to say turn the burden of marriage, into comfort, and merit; if not, they looſe both.
A PLAINE PATH-WAY TO HEAVEN BY FR.THOMAS HILL 1634
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