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The Praxis of Agape: The Intrinsic Sacramentality of Family

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Father Frank Marangos

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"On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." John 2:1-3

INTRODUCTION

“They have no wine.” (John 2:3) These are the words of our Lord’s Mother, spoken during a wedding reception that occurred in a small insignificant village in Galilee located about three hours journey from Nazareth. These words mark the introduction of Jesus’ public ministry and what St. John the Evangelist refers to as “the first of His signs” (John 2:11). While at first reticent to accept the tacit directive of His mother, Jesus utilizes the depletion of wine as an opportunity to disclose the Great Mystery of the Church.

The fourth gospel presents those who study it with two levels of revelation. There is (a) the simple surface story that can be easily retold, and understood, and (b) a deeper theological interpretation for those who eagerly search with the eye of faith. The pericope concerning the marriage at Cana is rich with both historical information and deep theological truths. As it is read during the celebration of every Orthodox Marriage, I have decided to utilize the Cana marriage miracle as the framework for my presentation which is entitled: The Praxis of Agape: An Examination of the Intrinsic Sacramentality of the Christian Family. While the first part of my study will conduct a general theological exegesis of the Johanine miracle story of Cana, the second portion of my presentation will discuss the significance of this material upon our understanding of the sacramental nature of the Orthodox Christian family.


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