How are the feasts of the baptism of Jesus and the account of the wedding feast of Cana related to the Epiphany celebration?
Answer: The Epiphany season focuses on revealing Jesus to the world. Following the Christmas celebration, the liturgical year lays out a series of manifestation points in which Jesus is made publicly known. From its very beginning, the Christian community highlighted three events in the life of Jesus. These are the Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord and the wedding feast at Cana.
The Epiphany discloses Jesus to the world of the Gentiles, represented by the magi from the East. The accounts of Jesus’ baptism reveal his identity and mission, along with exposing him to those to whom he was sent to minister. The miracle of turning water to wine at the wedding feast of Cana, unique to John’s Gospel, is the first public sign that Jesus performs, thus manifesting his public identity and his powers.
Today in the Roman Church, these are usually celebrated on three successive Sundays: Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord which is usually the next Sunday, and the wedding feast of Cana, which is proclaimed on the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time in lectionary year C.
These feasts connect around the concept of epiphany, public manifestation of Jesus to the world. They help us get to know more intimately who Jesus is and what he is about. Spend some time delving more deeply into your understanding of who Jesus is. Continue to cultivate these “epiphany” moments in your life.