2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fr. Vinner)
PARTICIPATING IN CHRIST’S MINISTRY WITH OUR GIFTS
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week we are at a wedding in Cana where Jesus reveals his Divine power by his first miracle, transforming water into wine. The Bible begins with one wedding, that of Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 2:23-24), and ends with another, the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9, 21:9, 22:17). Throughout the Bible, marriage is the symbol of the Covenant relationship between God and His chosen people. God is the faithful Groom and humanity is His beloved bride. Let us pray for God’s daily miracles in our families.
The first reading of this Sunday is from the “third Isaiah.” Through his oracle prophet Isaiah, God assures us of his willingness to continue to protect and save us his people. Therefore it is a message of hope and restoration. So God reminds us today that he has not abandoned us. The tone here is very romantic and simply reminds us of how much God loves us. So like a man or woman who vowed to protect his beloved, God vowed to protect and save us at all cost: “About Zion I will not be silent; about Jerusalem I will not grow weary…until her salvation flames like a torch…” The reason for this strong assurance is simple. We are God’s Bride and Delight. We are his chosen ones. So, Isaiah exalts us today that God is ready to sacrifice anything for our sake and salvation. This is exactly what he has done by sending us his only son Jesus Christ in other to accomplish this mission.
Also, in our second reading today, Paul reminds us that out of love for us and his church, God has generously lavished each and every one of us with gifts of the Holy Spirit. In other word’s God did not stop at sending us his only son, He also anointed us with the same spirit with which he anointed Christ. One important point that Paul makes here is that the gifts that we have received comes from one and the same Holy Spirit. However, we must bear in mind that these gifts are given to us for a purpose. They are given to us in order to participate in the Christ’s mission. They are for the edification and growth of the church of Christ. They are not our personal properties, and so must not be used for selfish reasons. They are given to us generously by God. So we must also use them generously in serving the church.
Today’s gospel from John is centered on the first miracle of Jesus Christ. This miracle was a product of Christ’s generosity. Although it was not yet time for Christ to commence his public ministry, he generously accepted to help out with his gift of miracle. Through this, Christ taught us exactly how we should use our gifts for the good and growth of God’s people. Also, another important lesson we should learn from today’s gospel is the role the Blessed Virgin Mary played in this miracle. She had the gift of prayer or intercession. She knew that her son will not refuse her anything good. So, she immediately, interceded on behalf of her people.
They only price that Mary demanded from servants was their obedience to the commands of Christ. She did not need to demand for anything more than this because, she knew that her gift of intercession and her position as the Mother of Christ was a free gift from God for the edification of her people. Therefore by using her position and gift of intercession very well, Mary participated effectively in the ministry of Christ.
We are therefore called upon today to emulate both the example of Christ and Mary who used their gifts for the growth and edification of the people of God. Also, we must constantly ask our lady for intercession as those at the wedding did. Most importantly, we must be ready to take her advice: “Do whatever He tells you to do!”
Joke of the Week: 1) Little Tommy was so impressed by his oldest sister’s wedding that he announced. “I want to have a wedding just like Linda had.” “That sounds great,” said his father. “But whom will you marry?” Tommy announced: “I want to marry grandma because she loves me and I love her.” “You can’t marry grandma,” his father said. “Why not?” Tommy protested. “Because she is my mother.” ”Well,” reasoned Tommy. “Then why did you marry my mother?”
2) Countdown! One woman asked the other, “You were always so organized in school, meticulously planning every detail. How did you plan your married life?” “Well,” said her friend, “My first marriage was to a millionaire; my second marriage was to an actor; my third marriage was to a preacher; and now I’m married to an undertaker.” Asked the friend, “What do those marriages have to do with a well-planned life?” “The first marriage was for the money, the second for the show, the third to get ready and the fourth to go!”
Life messages: 1) Let us, “invite Jesus and Mary to remain with us in our homes” when we feel shortages in our family lives. The spouses need Jesus and Mary when their dreams are gone, mutual love seems dried up, the relationship becomes boring, and raising the children becomes a burden draining all their energy. The awareness of the presence of Jesus and Mary in the family will encourage parents to create an atmosphere of prayer, Bible-reading, mutual love and respect with a spirit of forgiveness and sacrificial service at home. It will refresh and renovate family life, removing its boredom.
2) Let us follow Mary’s instruction, “Do whatever He tells you.” This is the only command given by Mary which is recorded in the New Testament, and it is a prerequisite for miracles in our families. The Bible tells us how to do the will of God and effect salvific changes in our daily lives. 3) Just as Jesus filled the empty water jars with wine, let us fill the empty hearts around us with love. By the miracle of Cana, Jesus challenges us also to enrich the empty lives of those around us with the new wine of love, mercy, concern and care. 4) Let us learn to appreciate the miracles of God’s providence in our lives. God, often as an uninvited guest in our families, works daily miracles in our lives by protecting us from physical and moral dangers, providing for our needs, inspiring us and strengthening us with His Holy Spirit. Let us also appreciate the miracle of the Real Presence of the Lord on the altar where God transforms our offering of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
FR. S.Vinner HGN