Rev. John Kha Tran

Fr. Patrick, an Irish priest, is driving to New York to see a show, and he's stopped in Boston for speeding.
The state trooper smells alcohol on his breath, sees an empty wine bottle on the floor, and asks,
"Sir, have you been drinking?"
The priest replies, "Just water."
The trooper asks, "Then, why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks down at the bottle and exclaims, "Good Lord! Jesus Christ, He did it again!"

Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding in Cana. It is not yet his hour to perform miracle and to reveal his power; but because of the request from his mother, Jesus performs the miracle. His response to the request comes from his compassion. Mary’s request also comes from her compassion for the wedding couple. She notices that they are running out of wine. They might not have any other resources. The only way Mary knows of to save this couple from the embarrassment is to ask Jesus to do something to help them out. There is a special sense of confidence, bond, trust, love, respect and understanding between Mary and her Son, Jesus. This special bonded relationship shows the same compassionate character. Both mother and Son are compassionate. Compassion and caring bring out the power of God. The result is that Jesus agrees to perform his first miracle by the request of his mother. Compassion brings out miracle. Miracle reveals God’s glory and strengthens the faith of the disciples. Miracle strengthens the faith and love of the couple in Cana.

At the Wedding

Why are Mary and Jesus at the wedding? Mary and Jesus are at the wedding because they are invited. They are invited to the wedding because the couple knows them. They are friends with the bride and the bridegroom. They are friends with their families. It is always an advantage to have good and powerful friends. Jesus and Mary are powerful then and they are more powerful now. Mary and Jesus are good. They are so good that they go out of their way to help the couple at the wedding in Cana when they ran out of wine.

Now Mary and Jesus are also ready to help us from heaven if we invite them into our lives, into our families, into our church and into our countries. If we truly have relationship with them and value our friendship with them, when we are in trouble, they will help us. We don’t even have to ask. Mary can see and understand our situation, and recognize our problems in life even before we do. She will find way to help us. She doesn’t wait until we ask her for help. She is compassionate. And she knows that her Son is also more compassionate. Compassion brings out miracles. Miracles will save us from troubles.   


We are also witnessing miracles happening today. The earthquake in Haiti is an unimaginable tragedy. Many lives are lost. We do not even know where to start the rescue mission: to recuse the people trapped in the wreckage or to help the survivers, to burry the dead bodies or to feed hungry people wandering in the streets. The Associated Press reports:

As a group of journalists make their way back into the city, the woman’s body is still on the side of the road. No one has collected her.
Did she die on the street?
Then her left leg seems to move, almost imperceptibly as if the wind had blown it. Could that be right?
She sits up. Her name is Berley Marie Lourde, she is 50, and she hasn’t eaten in several days.
Her home in a nearby village was not damaged in the earthquake. But she says she was walking on Friday morning to try to find food when she passed out on the side of the road.
“I thought I would die in the street,” she said.
The journalists load the woman in the back of their SUV and ask people in a nearby village if they can help her. They shake their heads no. They are hungry too.
“We don’t have food, either,” one woman says. “We can’t accept any more people here.”
(Alfred de Montesquiou and Mike Melia, Associated Press, Jan. 6, 2010).

The people of Haiti can’t help themselves. But we can help them if we have compassion for them. Many people and governments from different countries have responded with compassion and generosity to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The first three days after the earthquake, in the United States alone, contributions through cell phone brings in 10 million dollars. The U. S. government has pledged 100 million dollars in aids. Many organizations and charity agencies are collection donations for the rescue missions. The U. S. Catholic Church is taking up a special collection in all parishes to help the victims of the earthquake. Though we are in the midst of economic crisis, and the economy is still struggling; many people are still out of work, but we are still able to give generously to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. This is clearly a miracle. This miracle comes from the compassionate hearts of many Christian people. In fact Christian countries are the first among many countries to respond to this tragedy. Christian people are also the most generous in helping others in this crisis. We have this spirit of love and compassion because we are the people of God. We follow the example of Mary and Jesus.