Second Sunday in Ordinary
A Homily - Cycle C - 2012-2013
by Fr. Luke Dundon
First Reading - Isaiah 62:1-5
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10
Second Reading - 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Gospel - John 2:1-11
John wrote to show that Christ was
the Messiah, the Divine Son of God.
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from - although the servers who had drawn the water knew -, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
I love the Wedding at Cana, it reminds me of a story I heard - an Irish priest was pulled over for drinking, with an empty bottle of wine in the car. He claimed he'd just been drinking water, but the policeman asks, Father, I can smell wine on your breath!! Father looked at the empty bottle with surprise and exclaimed, God Lord! He's done it again!
If only it worked that way . . . or does it? Wiggle your nose and poof! The light turns green, and the cars take off. Blink your eye and suddenly Christmas is past and 2013 is in full swing. Say the "s" word about the weather and suddenly everybody is flocking to the store for bread, milk and snow shovels . . . I got the kids at Corpus Christi school excited about the snow, I don't think I'm too popular over there . . . say "I do" at a wedding, and suddenly you're husband and wife for life!
But is it so sudden, so "magical" like that? Does it happen so suddenly, just like that? Does an itchy nose help the traffic? Can a word from the weatherman suddenly bring a pile of snow in your front yard? Can two words like "I do" automatically produce many happy years of marriage? Will a few hundred thousand young people marching down Constitution avenue automatically change the mind of our government to protect all human life? If I say alakazam to a glass of water, can I magically make a vintage burgundy?
If only . . . but alas, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you . . . I mean, it IS true that we can marvel at how beautiful our REAL gifts are - - - the hospitality of our dear ushers to hold the door for the weary stranger, the musical talent of our cantor and organist in singing tonight's hymns, the witness that YOU give to our young people as husbands and wives - - - while it IS true that these vocations are an inspiration to us, does it automatically make saints? Does it automatically produce holy marriages? Are our own abilities, our own God-given gifts or efforts, are they an automatic insurance policy for a couple newlyweds or a couple of ushers or a couple of priests?
Probably not any more than I can turn water into a fine wine . . . and yet, I WOULD say that it IS spectacular to see two engaged people, in the face of worldly standards, committing to one another for life. It IS amazing to see a few hundred thousand souls marching down Washington, rejoicing and SINGING in the Lord's gift of eternal life to every child conceived in the womb. It IS a true gift to see the unique skills and gifts that the Lord has given each member of St. Philip's. And the REASON it's so spectacular, so amazing, such a gift, the REASON is that we don't commit ourselves to these responsibilities, we don't begin the great wedding party, without inviting Jesus Himself to the celebration. Mary knew best. There was little wine left - - - just as there's little love left for marriage, there's little respect left for human life, there's little confidence left in each individual's ability to change the world for Christ.
Yet Mary knew best - - - Do whatever He tells you! Allow HIM to JOIN you! And so the workers draw HUGE vats of water into their jars. And so the headwaiter tastes the best wine ever put to his lips. THROUGH the servants, Jesus shows forth GREAT power. Jesus continues to show great power, THROUGH the efforts of His brothers and sisters. And by inviting HIM into our lives, our marriages will be happier than ever before, our March for Life will change the course of history, and when people meet the parishioners of St. Philip's Catholic Church, they will meet the Face of Jesus. For HE'S the true wonder-worker, not through magic, but through love. DIVINE LOVE. The same Love which called every person here tonight. The same Love which gave each of you UNIQUE and POWERFUL gifts to build up His Kingdom. The same Love which looked into water as it blushed into wine. The same Love which will look into wine and make it HIS BLOOD. That same Love which continues through US . . . and so the Lord will continue to work wonders in our world - - - all we have to do, is Invite Him to the party! He's done it before . . . and He'll do it again!