YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS GLORY
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
HOMILY: God is always at work within us especially in the ordinary things of life, manifesting His glory and inviting us to believe in Him whose power working in us can achieve more than we can ever think of or imagine. Believing in Him not only opens our eyes to see more and more of His glory and to know and understand Him better and deeper but also leads us to share in His glory. May we continue to be witnesses of the glory of God and may our faith strengthen us to be sharers of this glory in this life and in the life to come; Amen.
Since last Monday, the Liturgical Calendar opened unto us the Ordinary Season. It must be noted that the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord not only concludes the Christmas Season but also takes the place of the First Sunday in Ordinary Time. This explains why the Ordinary Season of the Liturgical Calendar has the Second Sunday as the first in its Sunday series. The expression Ordinary Season does not in any way mean that this period is less important but signifies the period in which the synthesis of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Gospels is recounted to us during the year. It is a Season in which we live our lives neither in loud feasting nor in pronounced penance. Spanning through 34 weeks, the Ordinary Season is spread between the period after Christmas and Lent and after the Pentecost Sunday and concludes on the Saturday after the Solemnity of Christ the King. During this Season, we are invited to walk with our Lord and to sanctify ourselves and our days with the venerable words of His teachings and to practice the virtues which the various mysteries of the life of Christ inspire within us.
The Gospel Reading (Jn 2:1-11) of today presents us with the first miracle of our Lord Jesus Christ at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee where He changed water into wine, at the request of His Mother Mary and at the obedience to His instruction by the servants of the host. The concluding sentence of this Gospel pericope is very striking and recaptures the purpose of all of Jesus’ words and actions in the Gospel of Saint John and indeed in the entire Scriptures; “He let His glory be seen, and His disciples believed in Him.” The entirety of the life of Jesus Christ was geared towards the manifestation of His glory, “glory as of the only Son from the Father” (Jn 1:14). This is the glory that attracts us and enwraps us with awe about the mystery of the person of Christ, the awe that leads us to recognise that here is something greater than Solomon; the glory that leads us to believe. To believe is not only a passive state of mind in which we assent to the truth of faith without any concrete change and effect in our lives. To believe is also an active state of the will that leads us to a commitment to the content of our faith, to communion with the person of our faith and to a concrete re-living of the life of Christ. The Christian faith is “the encounter with an event, with a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (Deus Caritas est, n. 1).
This New Horizon and the Decisive Direction which our faith encounter inspires within us were greatly manifested in the lives of the disciples and continue to manifest in the lives of His followers of today. To fruitfully live this New Horizon opened to us by faith and to successfully follow this Decisive Direction traced for us by Christ, God sends upon us, through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, different gifts from on high as we read in the Second Reading (I Cor 12:4-11); not for our personal self gratification and aggrandisement or worst still as means to cause division and confusion within the Body of Christ, but for the manifestation of the glory of God within the community of believers, for the glorification of God and for the edification of the community. These gifts are signs that, just as in the wedding at Cana, Christ is always with us as He promised till the end of time. Every gift from above serves the purpose of confirming us in the faith and keeping us focused on this New Horizon and this Decisive Direction. They are never to distract our focus on Christ or lead us to distract others from focusing on Christ. It is only in such manner that the integrity of our faith shines out to all nations, that the imprint of the glory of God is seen on our foreheads, that we become delightful to God and that our God will rejoice in us (Isaiah 62:1-5).
May God continue to confirm our faith by the manifestations of His glory in our lives and families and in the Church; Amen.
Fr Cyril UNACHUKWU CCE.
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