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Homilies by Father Jaimon Dominic » Notes » Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

  • Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

    Posted by Mary Wilson January 20, 2019 - Category: Spirituality - 445 views - 0 comments - 0 likes - #gifts  #Cana  #miracles  #First miracle  #Do whatever he tells you 


    Jesus’ miracle at the wedding at Cana tells us many important things. For example, the fact that there were six ceremonial water jars, each holding about 25 gallons, tells us that Jesus produced 150 gallons of wine for this wedding celebration, which in turn tells us that this… was a Catholic wedding. 

    It also tells us that Jesus was not a fundamentalist. If Jesus had believed that drinking alcohol is inherently immoral, His first public miracle would not have been to turn water into wine at a wedding. Instead, He would have turned 150 gallons of wine into water to prevent those at the wedding from enjoying themselves. As the 20th century essayist Hilaire Belloc declared: “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine. At least, I’ve always found it so: Benedicamus Domino!” (Latin: "Let us bless the Lord")

    Jesus and his disciples arrive on the “third” day, excited to participate in wedding festivities. Many Jewish weddings are celebrated on this day of the week, a reference to the creation account in Genesis. The work God completes on the third day is called “good” twice (Genesis 1:10, 12). It is the only day in the creation account that receives this double blessing, it was known as the best day of the week to marry. The first day of the week would be Sunday, the second Monday, and the third Tuesday. In the Jewish lunar calendar, the new day begins at sundown. Jesus and others traveling to Galilee arrive in Cana on Monday evening for the beginning of a seven-evening reception to celebrate the marriage. Rabbis in Jesus’s time taught that people should celebrate the union of a newly married couple for the same amount of time it took God to create the world.

    In today’s gospel we hear Mary, the mother of Jesus also was invited. As the wedding feast went on, the wine ran out. Mary went out of her way to intercede with Jesus and Jesus performed his very first miracle. This first miracle points us to make some serious observations which are reflective in our life.

    St John in his gospel mentions Mary, the mother of Jesus two times: at the marriage feast at Cana, the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus and at the crucifixion, the end of it. That could be a way of telling us that Mary did not only play the passive role of being the physical mother of Jesus but she was also actively involved with Jesus in the work of our redemption from beginning till end.

    If this was Jesus’ very first miracle, how then did Mary know that Jesus could do it? Good mothers know their children. They know the hidden talents and potentialities of their children. There are many young men and women who have gone on to accomplish great things in life because their mothers believed in them and encouraged them.

    A more fascinating question arising from the story is this: Did Mary know all those thirty years she lived with Jesus that she was living with a wonder-worker and yet never she ask him to multiply her bread, turn the water on the dining table into wine, or double her money to make ends meet? How come she never asked Jesus to use his miraculous power to help her out but she was quick to ask him to use it and help others? Think of it. If you have a child who has a miraculous power to double money for other kids at school, won’t you ask him to double yours at home too? After all, one would argue, charity begins at home. But for Mary and for Jesus the needs of others come first.

    Take the case of Jesus. He knew he had this power to perform miracles. After his forty days fast in the desert he was hungry and the devil suggested it to him to turn some stones into bread and eat, but he did not do it. Yet he went out and multiplied bread for crowds of his followers. What are they telling us, Mary and Jesus, through their actions? They are telling us that God’s gifts to individuals are not meant primarily for oneself or their families’ benefit but for the service of others. That is what St Paul also tells us in the second reading when he enumerates the many different gifts of the Holy Spirit to different persons and adds that “to each person is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good,” (1 Corinthians 12:6) not for personal profit.

    Today, then, is a good day to ask ourselves: “What gifts has God given me? Am I using these gifts mainly for my own personal profit or for the service of others in the community?” We sometimes wonder why there are no more miracles like we read in the Bible. Maybe the reason is that we have grown more selfish. If we began using the little gifts we have for the common good — like the gift of praying, singing, teaching, caring, sharing, encouraging, supporting, motivating, writing, etc. — then these gifts will probably begin to grow and soon we will begin to see miracles. Concern for others is the beginning of miracles.

    Image attributed to Giotto di Bondone via Wikimedia Commons