2:6 Now standing there were six stone jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 The steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew).

The “six stone jars for the Jewish rites of purification” represent the old system of established ritual purification, law, and religious hierarchy. They are essential to the religious Jewish observance of elaborate hand washing in order to purify oneself in preparation for eating.

The system is not wrong in itself. It was always intended to point to the truth Jesus expressed to his followers when he said,

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

The ritual of washing, like all ritual observances, was not intended to be an end in itself. It was given as the physical embodiment of a deeper inner truth. We need to aim at having a “pure” heart, that is a heart that is not divided between the physical and the spiritual. A “pure” heart is an undivided heart.

We will “see God” when our heart is single-focused, when the first priority of our lives is to be open to that invisible inner reality that is God’s Presence symbolized by the “water that had become wine”.

Jesus did not intend to disparage the old system or to dispose of the traditions and practices of the past.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17)

The law is “fulfilled” when we adhere to its original intention which was to call people to an acknowledgement of the richness and importance of God’s Presence at work in all of life.

What are the rituals in my life that help me to recognize that God is present in all of life and is the ultimate fulfillment of my heart’s longing?