HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME OF THE YEAR C
THEME: ALL TO JESUS THROUGH MARY OUR MOTHER!
BY: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JANUARY 16 2022
Before I say a word in this homily, I want to state categorically clear that THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH DOES NOT WORSHIP THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, WE ONLY HONOUR HER AS THE MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. That is why the honour we give her is Hyperdulia as against Latria or Divine Adoration that goes to Jesus and the blessed Trinity. This is practically replicated in our prayers Lord Jesus or Sacred heart of Jesus (God the father and God the Holy Spirit) have Mercy on us and Holy Mary pray for us. Well, every catholic understands this.
Today we rejoice in God who never abandoned us to fate. We celebrate because God allowed his son to come to our aide. We also rejoice because, God has blessed and equipped us with different gifts of the Holy Spirit so that we could participate in the ministry of Christ. There is this anecdote about entering heaven. It is said that St. Peter was once troubled when he noticed the presence of several souls whom he did not remember having let in through the doors of Heaven. He finally found that they were sneaking in through a window. He went diligently to Jesus and complained, “Master, I realized that we have several souls here that I do not remember letting in. I did some investigations and found out where they were coming from. I would like you to see it for yourself if you don’t mind.” Jesus, with all serenity, accompanied Peter and observed that, in fact, there was an entrance through which an impressive number of souls was constantly entering Heaven. Still somewhat alarmed, St. Peter suggested: “Should not we close this entrance, Lord?” Jesus, smiling and even delighted with the scene, replied: “No, no … Leave it alone. This is Mama’s thing!” Mary had left a huge rosary hanging from a window, and through it a multitude of souls were climbing steadily up to Heaven. It is no wonder that when we ourselves close the doors of Paradise with the bars of sin, Mary opens a window for us, so that we can always have a second chance. We can see that in the warnings echoing from apparitions in places like Tepeyac, Fatima, Kibeho in Rwanda to mention but a few.
Recently I saw a picture of a Nigerian Mom holding and blessing the legs of one of our great Nigerian wingers in soccer(football) Samuel Chukwuezi shared by one of our great Sports analysts Sọlọmọn Ọnụ. It was so emotional, and I wondered why a mother would do such thing and something came to my mind: there is a special bond between mothers and sons or children because of such acts and that is why sons rarely say no to their mothers. If you reject my mother, you have rejected me.
After the first reading from Isaiah, it is impossible not to see this ‘sign’ (as John calls it) as a sign of that final wedding-feast of God and his people. Furthermore, in Jewish thought water represents the Law: in an arid land water is the sign of life and is precious. So just as the Law of God is precious and gives life as the longest Psalm analyses (Psalm 119). Jesus transforms this water of the Law into the wine of the New Covenant – that will finally be in his blood!
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 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 knew that her son will not refuse her anything good. So, she immediately, interceded on behalf of her people. Jesus says his Hour has not yet come, but Mary’s confident plea is a reminder to us of her gift and power of intercession. She will be mentioned no more in this gospel till she is present at the Cross, sharing the passion of her Son and joined to the Beloved Disciple to form the first Christian community.
The only price that Mary demanded from the servants was their obedience to the commands of Christ. And the same she asks of us. 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 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.
ALL TO JESUS THROUGH MARY OUR MOTHER!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara