January 17, 2016 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Fr Jim Miller

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 17, 2016

Reading 1 Is 62:1-5

Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10

R. (3) Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Reading 2 1 Cor 12:4-11

Alleluia cf. 2 Thes 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 2:1-11

Homily— January 16 & 17, 2016

   Do you like to go to a party?   I enjoyed a party on Friday night. It was a late Christmas party at the rectory with those members of the Pastoral Council and Finance Council who could attend. And we did not run out of wine or food.

   In the gospel today we have Jesus attending a wedding reception and certainly he shared in the celebration and drank some wine. In my experience I know that Jesus does not want us to drink too much so that we act inappropriately and put ourselves and others at risk because of our behavior.  

   I have been to weddings where some people have drank so much that they could no longer stay at the party but had to be taken to their room or be given a ride home.  Jesus would tell us to drink in moderation and if we cannot do that we should not drink at all.

   Bishop Robert Barron wrote, “At the wedding banquet in Cana of Galilee, the wine ran short. This was far more than an inconvenience for the hosts of the party; it was a profoundly humiliating faux pas.  Sensing their discomfort, Mary said to Jesus, “They have no more wine”.  In regard to the Gospel of John especially, we must be alert to the symbolic overtone of ordinary terms and images. Wine, and the intoxication that it produces, are evocative of the divine life—that power which elevates both body and soul. Therefore, to speak of wine running out is to lament the disappearance of grace.”

   I like Mary’s words to Jesus that “they have no more wine”.  She did not say “could you give them wine” or “go get them some more wine”.   She knew that when her Son was aware of a need that he acted. The last words of Mary in the Bible are her words to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you”.  Mary had faith in her Son and expected Him to act in this situation.

   Mary’s last words to the servers are also meant for us. Mary would tell us also “Do whatever Jesus tells you”.  Follow his example. Study the four gospels and all that Jesus did and said. Recognize the ways you can imitate Jesus in your life. He was a source of hope to the people. He brought healing to the sick and the crippled. He raised the dead. He forgave sinners. Jesus is faithful to us even when we are unfaithful to him.

   It seems appropriate that Jesus would reveal his power at a wedding feast. The relationship between God and the people is like the relationship between a bride and a groom. It is wonderful to see two people in love with each other and ready to embark on the journey of life together. They are full of hope that together they will be happy until death. We all know that there will be challenges to their marriage but it is encouraging to see couples celebrating fifty or sixty or more years of marriage. You can be assured they have weathered some storms in life but have only grown stronger in their commitment of life to each other. A couple has to be faithful to each other just as we are to be faithful to God who loves us more than we can love or be loved by another.

   Live your commitment in life. Be faithful to your husband or wife. Be faithful to your friends. Be faithful to your relationship with God. Don’t run out of the wine of God’s grace, of God’s presence which is available to us in abundance when we do what Jesus tells us.

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