YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: If Jesus and Mary were not their guests: the transforming power of God’s presence.
BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi.
HOMILY: GOSPEL: JOHN 2:1-11.
My dearest Children of God. Today we are privileged to be in God’s presence to reflect on His transforming words of life. The words that inspire our faith and urges us to live positively.
The readings of today’s call us to reflect on the first miracle of Jesus at the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee, the manifestation of His divinity and His mother’s intercession for those in need. 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 allow God to transform our families so as to experience His divine presence and miracles.
From the feast of Epiphany through Baptism to this Sunday it has been celebrations of God’s manifestation of Himself to humanity( theophany). At Epiphany, He revealed Himself to the Gentiles, at Baptism His trinitarian nature as the son of God, and today His divinity and omnipotence as God. “God has sufficiently disclosed Himself to man, to draw him closer to Himself. To be ignorant of who God is, s simply a product of one’s choice”.
In the first reading, Isaiah uses the metaphor of spousal love to describe God’s love for Israel. God’s fidelity to his people is compared to a husband’s fidelity to his wife. Isaiah predicts God’s salvation of Jerusalem after the return of the Babylonian exiles and visualizes it as a wedding between God and Jerusalem. Jesus’ provision of abundant wine for the wedding feast in Cana signifies that the day foreseen by Isaiah has arrived.
In today’s second reading, St. Paul reminds us that the new wine that Jesus pours out for us is the gift of the Holy Spirit, given to his bride.
~The Gospel of today is one of those beautiful passages that virtually everyone including those who don’t go to church or Christians who don’t open their Bible from year to year knows very well. It is a favourite passage for those who justify their drunkenness. Be that as it may, John in the Gospel describes the first of the seven “signs’ by which Jesus showed forth his Divinity. When the wine “ran short,” Jesus’ Mother told him about it. At first, Jesus seemed to refuse to do anything about it. But later he told the servants to fill six large stone jars with water and take some of the miraculous water-made-wine to the headwaiter. When they did so, the headwaiter expressed his surprise that such a great wine had been reserved for late use.
~This gospel passage has great lessons for our Christian life and practice. Jesus was invited to a wedding feast along with his mother. He honoured the invitation because he came to identify with those He came to save. His presence in the wedding feast made it a sacred reality. Marriage is not a casual social gathering because it has this divine element in it. In changing water into wine, God’s transforms the ordinary union of a man and woman into spiritual reality and a source of grace. God is a third party in every wedding feast. But we need to invite Him by our spiritual disposition, not by mere external preparations. Having a wedding in the church does not guarantee God’s presence in your marriage, you must prepare and intend to actually to be in that union. When people go through marriage for some utility reasons or exclude some of the essential properties of it ( simulation), they simply exclude Jesus and Mary. Consequently, it becomes are a mere social event. No sacrament takes place.
~We need to invite Jesus and Mary into our lives, our families and in every endeavour of life. The couple invited Jesus and His mother, not just Jesus. You could imagine what would have happened if Mary was not in the feast? Who could have made that request in favour of the bride and the groom when they ran out of wine if Mary was not there? Who even knows that Jesus was the Messiah in that feast if not His mother who knows him better than anyone else.
She has absolute confidence that Jesus can do the impossible and that he loves us enough to do it, even in this thing, so insignificant and so concretely miraculous . And her faith draws her to Jesus.
~We heard how Jesus responded to His mother’s request- “Woman, how does your concern affect me? . Sure it was not yet time, yet He heeded to his mother’s request. My dearest, our mother Mary is our powerful intercessor before God. She intercedes for us in moments of great difficulty. Jesus still listens to His mother, He can never turn down her request. Those who honour Mary through the Rosary our powerful weapon of prayer and through various Marian devotions have greater chances of receiving miracles than those who don’t. It was St. Alphonsus Liguori who once said, if you need the fruit go to the tree. Jesus is the fruit of Mary’s womb, so whoever goes to Jesus through Mary must surely find Him. It was not recorded whether Mary was approached when there was no wine but one thing obvious is that she is a woman who is very observant and sensitive to the needs of those around her. Mary knows the needs and will always intercede for her children. Let us invite Jesus and Mary into our lives and in all our endeavours. To work and walk with Jesus and Mary is a great company.
~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. You can’t look to Mary for guidance without seeing her Son; she wants nothing more than to point us back to Jesus and His will.
~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.
~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 his son
May God transform your worst to best. May God step in to save you from embarrassing situations and dangers threatening your life. May you find security under the shield of God’s protection. May our mother Mary interceded for you and your family. May you grow in faith through miracles that God works daily in your life. Amen.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.💐
Fr. Clem C. Aladi.